At the beginning of March, the US entered one of the most challenging times living generations have seen in decades. As the war against COVID-19 rages on, we are inspired by the bravery shown by those on the frontlines, such as our men and women in healthcare and public service. Soon enough, other heroes will emerge from a lab with a vaccine. In the meantime, we’ll continue to pray for discernment for our elected officials as they make the difficult decisions that affect the livelihood of our fellow neighbors.
Even if you don’t know of someone with the virus, more than likely it has impacted your personal finances. We’ve put together this list of practical tips you can use.
Pray: Pray for guidance during this time and for God to take away any fear, anxiety, and feeling of isolation you may be having. Ask for God to be present with those who need His helping hand because of COVID-19. Call on God to deliver healing through the care of doctors and nurses.
Give: Even through times of struggling, continue to give. Give your time and your resources. This is a must.
Plan: Every day, there are 100 action steps you can take that seem needed at the time. Pick the top five that are the most important and charge forward to get those done. Don’t worry about the other 95 things on your list. When there are too many items to focus on, the what-ifs start and nothing gets done.
If your employment has been affected, start creating a game plan for your current emergency cash reserve and for what happens if it runs dry.
Cut: The word “budget” carries such a negative connotation, but now is the time you must be mindful of every inflow and outflow of your financial house. Start with thinking of your four walls (food, utilities, shelter, transportation), and if it doesn’t pertain to that, then it’s cut.
Consider reducing or suspending payments that don’t have to be made at this time. There have been positive developments that benefit those with federal student loans, mortgage and rent payments, and credit card bills. Take time to call these providers and explain your current situation.
Connect: In times of real need, don’t be too proud to ask for a helping hand. If you haven’t already, visit with your Life Group. The reason this is in the middle of the list is because you have to get your financial house in order first. Your Life Group is a lifeline that can be used, but financial transparency is a must. There will be some serious accountability happening at this point.
Also, reach out to Harris Creek. The Stewardship Team will be releasing resources to help you and your Life Group in this area. If a need cannot be met within your immediate community, Harris Creek may be able to guide you through this tough time. Contact the Stewardship Team or fill out this form.
Utilize: There are several resources that may be available to you.
Unemployment: If you have lost your job or were furloughed because of the coronavirus, you may qualify.
Health Insurance: If furloughed, you may be able to keep your health insurance. Make sure to ask your company how you will make payments without it coming out of your paycheck. If you were laid off, then you have two options. The first is called COBRA, which allows you to continue the same health insurance plan but you will have to pay the full premium. Another option, and most likely the cheaper one, would be to purchase a policy through the Affordable Care Act and healthcare.gov.
This is one of the greatest challenges we as Americans have faced, but some light is starting to glimmer in the dark tunnel. As Christians, our hope is found in something greater than anything found in this world – Jesus. We have an ultimate provider Who gives us everything we need, even when we feel lost and confused. Our prayer is that we would use this difficult time to lead others in worship and that we would become an example to all, showing that we trust God to provide for us no matter what.
By the Harris Creek Stewardship Team.