While the world focuses on the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for volunteer organizations like Good Will has not gone unnoticed. This article will explore the budget of a typical Good Will household; how they are currently spending their money, what their essential spending is, and what they are able to save as a result of the pandemic.
The Good Will Family Budget
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a need for more community engagement than ever before. From collecting supplies for those in need to offering online courses to expand access to knowledge, millions of people have stepped up to help others during these challenging times.
The impact of the pandemic on organizations like Good Will is undeniable. The organization was able to bring together over 300 volunteers who worked together to deliver supplies to those in need in New York City. Additionally, due to limited resources and the need to physically distance oneself, online learning has become a popular option for those seeking to continue their education.
The Essential Spending
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant amount of uncertainty as to what monthly bills are going to be incurred. One of the first things a Good Will household needs to do is establish an essential spending budget. This will include rent or mortgage payments, utilities, transportation, food, and healthcare costs. Beyond this, they should consider spending on travel, entertainment, and other non-essential items.
One of the best ways to establish an essential budget is to look at what has been most impacted by the pandemic so far. For example, food costs have risen due to the loss of restaurant jobs. Transportation costs have increased as more people work from home and rely on public transportation to get to their place of work. These are just some examples of how the essential spending budget can be defined, but it should be defined in light of what has been most impacted by the pandemic to date.
What Can You Sustain?
Once an essential budget has been created, it’s time to consider what can be sustained. What are you able to pay for and what are you unable to pay for? There are several factors to consider here, including the type of healthcare one has access to, how long one expects to be in self-quarantine, and the impact of the pandemic on one’s existing financial situation.
For example, one’s housing costs may be paid for through an investment win or inheritance. However, if one expects to be in self-quarantine for a significant portion of the year, it may not be the best use of resources to pay for a residence that they will only rarely use. Instead, it may be more beneficial to rent a vacation property that they can stay in and use when they want to travel. This could be for a month, a week, or even just a day.
On the other hand, one’s existing healthcare costs may be significantly impacted by the pandemic. If one has healthcare coverage through their employer, they will most likely be covered for the duration of the pandemic. However, what happens after the pandemic? Will they still have healthcare coverage if they don’t have a job? Will their existing healthcare provider even consider giving them a break on their payments due to the uniqueness of this situation? These are all questions that one has to ask themselves before making any significant healthcare decisions.
One of the best things that can happen for an individual or family in these circumstances is to become familiar with how to budget effectively. This may mean taking a hard look at their existing expenses and making adjustments so that they can be more mindful of what they spend, limiting their consumption, and being mindful of their financial situation. At the end of the day, there are always options and solutions. One cannot always avoid the financial hardship that the pandemic brings, but they can certainly be more prepared for it.