What to Do If Covid-19 Depleted Your Emergency Fund
Posted 6/23/2020 by Linda Jacob

What to Do If Covid-19 Depleted Your Emergency Fund

by Linda Jacob 

We are in unprecedented times.  Our CEO Tom Coates made a commercial where he says “We didn’t see this coming; did you see this coming?”  In a very short amount of time, our economy changed drastically.    Millions began applying for unemployment.  Even if you did receive un-employment, there may have been a lag between when you applied and when you received your first check.  Hopefully, you had a fully funded Emergency Fund to get you through.  

As the economy starts to re-open, and if these stressful times have caused you to dip into your Emergency Savings, it’s time to start making a plan to replenish it back to its original amount. Experts are talking about a re-surgency in the fall, and we could once again find ourselves in this same scenario.

Whether you need to replenish your Emergency Fund, or establish one (having learned the importance of having one), here are some steps you can take.

1.       Treat the monthly deposit into your Emergency Savings account like your cell phone bill.  You don’t think you can live without your cell phone, and you should also be thinking you can’t live without your Emergency Fund.  Put it right on your budget, don’t do it as an afterthought.

2.       You’ve just gone two to three months without movies, the gym, eating in a restaurant, etc.  You now know you can live without these things.  Even if you cut back to half of what you used to spend prior to the pandemic on Entertainment, you will have money to deposit into your Emergency Fund.

3.       Find a side hustle.  If there is absolutely no room in your budget, then you need to make more cash.  There are several places that are hiring.  Even a 10-15 hour per week job, as long as all the money earned is designated for your Emergency Fund will quickly get the job done. 

4.       If you found yourself cleaning closets and the garage during lockdown, now is the time to start selling all of that stuff you don’t need.  There are several online market places for you to list your treasures and get them sold.  Put that cash into your Emergency Fund.

We all learned a valuable lesson starting in March.  Our world can change quickly and drastically.  There isn’t much we can control about a pandemic other than self-isolation, but we can control our finances.  Be willing to put in the work and make the tough decisions in order to fully fund your Emergency Savings account. Relief in knowing that you have the means to protect yourself and your family should something happen is priceless.