Many of the young people in my Bible Study are frightened of the coronavirus and the threat to their families. I understand their fear. But, as an older American, I’m also concerned about their economic well-being in the aftermath of this crisis. What kind of financial advice can I offer them?
Sheltered in The Storm
Dear Sheltered in the Storm,
We have two crises happening now and you have properly identified a third one. First, the virus has created a very real health crisis. Second, the shutdown of the economy has created a very present economic crisis and third, the government bailout will put us at risk of a future debt crisis and threat to the global economy.
As Thomas Sewell said about our current challenges, “We do not have good choices, we simply have trade offs.”
Living on the Edge
The Coronavirus has revealed the financial unpreparedness of millions of citizens. Aaron Zitner, at the Wall Street Journal reports: “Some 15% of Americans have used, or plan to use, either short-term loans or credit cards that they don’t know they can repay in order to buy emergency goods to deal with the outbreak, a survey by NORC at the University of Chicago found.” He says others rely on savings or plan to divert money set aside for other things.
It is my hope that many Americans have been better prepared for this event after making financial adjustments following the Great Recession, which started in 2008, by paying off debt, increasing savings and living within their means. Either way, here are some practical and spiritual insights for the young people in your Bible study.
Establish Essentials as Priority
Everyone’s situation is different. Let’s help the young people understand how to deal with the current economic crisis, and we will deal with the long-term consequences of the bailout later. Here’s how I would attempt to help those in your Bible study when meeting one-on-one.
Regardless of what’s happening in the world, everyone needs food and shelter. Pay the bills that provide food, home, and necessary utilities. This is a time to sacrifice wants to provide for needs.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Chuck Bentley