5 ways to stay financially calm in a crisis

Mar 6, 2020

It would not be an understatement to say we are living in unprecedented times. The coronavirus is impacting on our current way of life – from our potential health to our finances.

There is a lot of conflicting advice out there and many, of course, have turned to panic. Panic can be seen from anything from stockpiling to rash decision making.

Here are five ways to stay calm in a crisis from a financial point of view.

1. Check your sources.

The best-selling author and self-help blogger Mark Manson (you may have read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck) has written an interesting article about quitting the news. Spoiler alert – his conclusion is to stick to reliable sources.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has labelled the spread of fake news on the outbreak of coronavirus an ‘infodemic’ and said it has hampered the response.

If you want to know what health precautions you should take, go to the NHS or WHO websites or trusted media outlets.

Don’t rely on a friend of a friend on Facebook who said they once dated a doctor.

The same can be said for your financial advice. Go to the Government website, established news sites and trusted advisors.

And don’t rely on the same friend of a friend on Facebook who happens to be connected to someone by the name of Warren Buffett.

2. Take your time.

It’s easy when we panic to jump into decision making, without allowing ourselves the time for thought and reflection. But irrational decisions can prove costly in the long-term.

Having a reliable sounding board may be helpful at this time – be it a trusted friend or work contact. There are also many good advisors out there who will offer you free, impartial advice.

This is not to say services, from Will-writing to resolving insurance issues, cannot be turned around quickly. It will just be done in a much calmer, thought out way.

3. Don’t cancel existing insurance policies.

Your current policy may not meet your needs but get something else in place before you cancel.

4. Protect your family.

Well, those who know me will be fully aware that this is something I strongly believe in at any time, not just in the wake of a global pandemic.

What would happen to you (or your business partners) if you couldn’t work because of sickness? What would happen to your loved ones and dependents if you were no longer around to provide for them?

I believe it is important to look at the big picture to make the best choices for your family and your needs. A Will alone may not cut it. Again, there are trusted advisors out there who can guide you with a free consultation.

5. Think long-term.

We are in for tough times. The global market has been impacted and certain industries, such as hospitality and airlines, will find it harder than others.

But there are signs of hope. The spread of the virus is slowing down, based on reports from China. Interest rates have been cut and emergency funds are being made available, including grants for small businesses.

It is worth thinking about how your decisions now will impact your future. This includes your steps to protect your family, mind your finances and even consider your general behaviour.

Or before you know it that video of you fighting over toilet roll in the supermarket could be viral – thanks to that friend of a friend on Facebook.

Ben Mason is CEO of end-of-life planning firm Kinherit and founder of Futures Protected – helping ensure your finances, family and business are protected in the event of death or critical illness.

The team at Kinherit has experienced a number of people in recent days who are keen to take out a will – but worrying about having to pay a second time for changes due to u coming weddings and babies being on the way. To help out, Kinherit are offering a free re-write on any Will, Trust or Power of Attorney taken out between now and the end of July 2020. The free re-write can be redeemed at any point up until December 2021. It is hoped this will give the scope to reduce worries about cost when people need to be taking out the right planning today.