With the Coronavirus taking over news headlines, how can you prepare your budget for a virus outbreak? As you hear more words like “quarantine” and “isolation” thrown around, how do you stay protected? You already know about washing your hands and stocking up on supplies, and are following the government’s instructions, but what about your wallet?
Is your budget prepared for a virus outbreak? There are a few things you should get in order just in case. Fingers crossed you most likely won’t need to worry too much about the impact of this illness, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Here’s how to prepare your budget for a possible virus outbreak.
1. Stay Calm and Don’t Panic
Your first step to preparing your budget is to remain calm. It’s easy to obsess over the outbreak when it’s all over both traditional and social media. You see it every time you open Facebook and it’s all that’s talked about at work. Even with all this attention, don’t let yourself feel paralysed with fear and anxiety.
While you should be aware of your anxiety, don’t let it take over your life. When you’re worried too much about what to do, you’re more likely to do nothing at all. This is a type of analysis paralysis, and it’s only going to get in the way of your preparations.
Instead, take a step back from the media. Set one time a day to look up news updates, and limit your exposure to fear-based news. Be sure you’re only looking at trustworthy sources, and remember that these news sources profit off your fear.
2. Budget for Supplies
Next, you’ll need to budget a bit of money for supplies. Despite what lines at local grocery stores might make you believe, in Australia, you don’t need to buy up weeks’ worth of food, water, and cleaning supplies.
The reason for collecting some basic supplies is in case you find yourself needing to quarantine at home. More and more people are being asked to stay home, and this means you’ll need a bit of the following to stay comfortable:
- Basic medications
- 3 days to a week of food
- Over a week of water
- Cleaning supplies
You should only need to allocate $25 – $50 to your initial preparations. These are things you should have in your home at all times, so consider it as an investment in your emergency preparedness. Your virus outbreak budget doesn’t have to happen overnight. You could save a little bit over a few weeks to begin building your supplies.
3. Check Your Emergency Fund
This is when having an emergency fund is really important. An emergency fund is a savings account that covers an unexpected emergency cost. In a perfect world, it would cover several months of living expenses.
In the case of your virus outbreak budget, you might find yourself in an extreme situation where you’re unable to work or leave the house. An emergency fund is a lifesaver at a time like this. If you don’t already have any savings like this, it’s time to start saving towards your emergency fund.
4. Avoid Making Investment Decisions
During a virus outbreak, you’ll notice a lot of changes within the stock market. Investments tend to drop, and this might lead you to react quickly out of fear. If you have an investment portfolio, don’t make any panicked decisions.
It’s normal to see changes in the stock market during an outbreak. As long as you’ve worked on your portfolio with a professional, you don’t need to worry. This isn’t the time to make any drastic decisions.
5. Protect Your Health
Last but not least, your health is the most important thing you have. Your virus outbreak budget is all a way to protect your health. Take care of your body and know how to identify symptoms early on. Like the common cold and the flu, always:
- Wash your hands with soap and water
- Distance yourself from anyone who appears sick
- Stay away from large crowds
- Don’t go to work if you’re sick
- Seek medical attention if you have flu-like symptoms
Common hygiene practices go a long way towards helping you avoid the virus. Having a budget in place that has room for emergencies allows you to keep your focus where it belongs on your health.
Is Your Budget Prepared for Anything?
While you might have a budget that works day-to-day, what about in emergencies? Nobody wants to think about contracting a virus, but sometimes things are out of our control. Since we can’t predict the future, we have to take steps to prepare for anything.
Even if you never come in contact with the virus, it’s a great reminder to ready yourself and your household budget. Disaster can always strike at any time. Consider this an opportunity to set a foundation for risk management just in case a significant life event happens. From having your emergency fund to budgeting for safety supplies, you need to take these steps seriously.
Do you need help creating an emergency preparedness budget? If so, you don’t have to take these first steps alone. Contact Debt Busters today for professional assistance on 1300 368 322. Our team has over 15 years of experience helping Aussies get their budgets ready for anything.