How Has COVID-19 Changed My Financial Mindset?

Something that COVID-19 has demonstrated to me, is just how uncertain the future is and the importance of being flexible. The current situation has also reinforced my goals to be financially secure, so I can deal with whatever challenges that life throws at me. In practical terms, that means I’ve slowed down my investing goals for the year, as I think having a larger emergency fund is more important right now.

I’m willing to keep more money sitting on the sidelines in cash for my own peace of mind — a safety net of sorts. Most financial sites will recommend an emergency fund of 3–6 months’ expenses, however, given the current situation, I expect I’ll aim for a more substantial emergency fund in the future. My main advice at the moment is don’t rush in and invest your emergency fund just because you think you’ll miss out on opportunities — you put that cash aside for a reason!

I also have come to more deeply appreciate my time spent with family, which is not something you can buy off the shelf. Not just having time with family per se, but having the time to build meaningful relationships with those closest to us. You only need a few people in your life that truly get you, but they’re worth their weight in gold.

See, I talk about money a lot as I believe it is crucial to have a base level of financial literacy, but I don’t talk as often about building a meaningful life. Working towards your financial goals cannot come at the expense of everything else you value, and if your goals are making you miserable then you need to make some changes. That’s not to say that sacrifices aren’t required (because they are), but it’s important to not lose sight of the bigger picture on the way. If you’re interested in reading more about building your ideal life, I’d highly recommend having a look at Ramit Sethi’s content here.

Another aspect of my financial mindset that has changed during this time, is the importance of investing more time and money in my education. Given I’ve had plenty of time at home, I figured I’d make use of the time. We’re moving towards a world of lifelong-learning and it’s now an essential part of career development. Starting a study project that could take 4 or 5 years to complete is a daunting affair, as it’s hard to imagine who you’ll at the end of it and whether you’ll have made the right decision in hindsight.

However, if you never get started, you’ll never have the opportunity to learn and grow in both your life and career. If you’re looking for some ideas to get started, I’ve put a list of resources together here.

I’d be keen to hear how your financial mindset has changed because of COVID-19, so please feel free to get in touch.

Kate

Young Self-Directed Australian Working in the Financial Technology Industry, and Talking Money and Financial Education @HowToMoneyAUS