My current financial journey & predictions

The Pledgettes community was built to share, learn, and grow.  With these uncertain times, I felt it would be appropriate to share my current financial situation. Sharing may help others not feel as alone.  Sharing may help you feel a weight lifted off your shoulders.  After I share my situation, I’m going to share a few predictions (nobody really knows) about some possibilities for the near future.

Life felt normal enough last Wednesday.  My partner and I were planning a 5-day trip to Chicago and we were in the camp of “don’t let fear-mongering change your life.”  Wednesday night, the news stories continued and we thought there was a 90% chance we were going to Chicago. Then Thursday morning a 50% chance.  We considered driving to Chicago. A few hours before our flight we canceled our trip.

CDC Recommendations for events went from 1000 attendees to 250 attendees to 50 attendees to 10 attendees over the weekend.  I knew I had to change The Pledgettes business model for the next few months and began working with speakers to move to webinars and start working on more webinar topics.

As most of you know, The Pledgettes is not my only project. Here’s where I’m at with the rest of my life.

REAL ESTATE: On 3/10, we accepted an offer on our townhouse that my partner and I are currently living in.  The close date is 4/17.  It’s a cash buyer and we are confident they are still moving forward.  So hopefully, as long as we are not in a shelter-in-place, that will move forward.

Our other two properties we are working through contingency choices if our tenants can’t pay rent.  What does that look like?  How long can we go?

FREELANCE WORK: I do work in the events industry and my partner does work in restaurant accounting and finance consulting.  Our projects ended or were put on indefinite hold until we get on the other side of this.  This was the majority of our income and it was gone overnight.

RESTAURANT: Yes, we own a restaurant.  We are grateful that we have incredible employees.  We shared the profits in the good times with them and hope they will stick it out in the rough times with us.  We hope we can hold on for a while and keep our employees.

RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS: I already had a pretty conservative risk tolerance so mine is not dropping as significantly as others.  A Pledgettes member shared her manta is “I am a long term investor.”  The recent gains we’ve had over the last couple of years were far above average.  And whether it was coronavirus, Saudi/Russia oil, or another factor, it wasn’t going to remain at that level.  It’s frustrating to see such a drastic drop.  While, nobody has a crystal ball, most historical data says to keep investing (but also don’t invest more than you are willing to lose) because the marketing should return.

EMERGENCY FUND: I’m grateful to have an emergency fund since our income is near $0 right now.  And if ever there was an emergency…this is it.  While it’s hard to take money from an emergency fund, this is what it’s for.  We’ll only take what we need and get to our “ramen budget.”  What’s the least we can live on right now?

SIDE HUSTLES: My partner and I started shopping/delivering for Instacart, doordash, Postmates, and Shipt.  At least we’ll have so money coming in.  I feel pretty safe and as soon as we come home, we shower, change our clothes, and start a load of laundry.

NOW….PREDICTIONS.

This is an unprecedented downturn.  In 2008, the recession impacted the stock market and the housing market.  Everyday life continued close to normal.  This is hitting everyone at the same time.  Everyday life is disrupted drastically.  There is talk of stimulus checks.  I do believe those are coming.  There are banks and creditors providing relief, I anticipate seeing more of that.  We’ll need to work together as a community, do our best to keep money flowing through the economy and helping each other out.  If you need help, ask.  If you need essentials like medicine or toilet paper, ask.  Someone has some to share.  If you need financial support, post a Member Question and we can all share resources we’ve heard about.

Information is being shared hourly.  There are always more updates.  Nobody knows how to navigate this perfectly or has a crystal ball to see the future.  Take care of yourself, your family, and your community.  Try to stress less and act more.  And please turn to this community for help or venting or support.  We will make it through this.

– Jenn

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