Reassessing Financial Goals in the Wake of COVID-19

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Are you a planner? I’m 100% a planner. My vanity may be a mess, but my life is centered around goals and plans. I maintain an amount of flexibility, but for 2020, due to this pandemic we are all facing, there is a whole new level of flexibility required, especially when it comes to reassessing financial goals.

I was laid-off as a result of COVID-19 and while that’s sad and yes, I’m disappointed, I’ve found my silver lining and I am pursuing my goal of building a career coaching business. I’d been thinking about diving into the space for almost a year, and decided that my lay-off was actually the perfect time to pursue this dream of mine. 

It all goes back to the damn bathroom

This is all to say that my plans changed. Nick and I bought a multi-family and when I was mapping out my financial goals for the year, I had earmarked my spring bonus to go to two things 1) half for a bathroom remodel for the house and 2) the other half to pay-off my car loan. These two goals were equally important to me at the time. Obviously, things changed. I’m not receiving the bonus. 

Last week, Nick and I were reviewing our plans for the house and as the topic of the bathroom came up, I found myself angry. It seemed silly at the time, how could I be upset about a bathroom. I was being selfish; in the grand scheme of things a bathroom is not a big deal. 

As I sat down to reflect, the bathroom was a trigger point for me. I had gotten to this place where I was pretty comfortable due to my career. Yes, I still had debt. No, I couldn’t retire tomorrow. But, there was a nest egg and a plan to pay off the debt and because of that, I was really proud. With a lay-off, my world was a little turned upside down and on top of that, I am choosing to pursue a dream of mine which adds a whole other layer of ambiguity – a layer I am choosing. 

Reassessing Financial goals

As a result, some of my financial goals for 2020 have changed and they will continue to change. Like so many folks across the world, life is different and with that financial goals evolve. 

I’m not throwing in the towel for 2020, I still plan on achieving goals, but I’ll be adding in another layer of caution to my plans from a financial perspective. I’ve chosen to prioritize my career development as I want to achieve more flexibility and be less dependent on a W-2 role. I view this as a long-term investment, but it means in the immediate term there is not the consistency of a regular paycheck. As a result of this decision, I’m holding off on putting additional money towards my car loan and remaining student loan balance because I want to focus on building a larger nest egg, especially since we have a house and are wrapping up the work that is being done there (just not the bathroom). 

As you reflect on your goals for 2020, realize that they can change and evolve. What you prioritized at the beginning of the year may not be what you are prioritizing for the next few months or even the rest of the year. 

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