PODCAST: Managing your personal finances during the COVID-19 pandemic

Written on Jul 30, 2020

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

From toilet paper shortages to sudden job loss, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful time to navigate financially.

“I'm seeing people act a little irrationally,” said A’Shira Nelson, CPA, tax manager at Apple Growth Partners. “I think all of the uncertainty is clouding judgment. It's causing people to do unnecessary spending and make bad choices.”

Nelson joined us on the latest episode of The State of Business podcast to discuss the impact the pandemic is having on personal finances. Nelson encouraged listeners to make a “pandemic budget,” and consider what you won’t need to spend money on that you normally would because the pandemic has limited certain activities.

She mentioned gym memberships, daycare, online shopping and entertainment as areas to cut unnecessary spending. Checking to see if you are automatically billed for each month and if there is anything you won’t need that you can cancel or pause.

“No budget is exactly the same,” Nelson said. “The coronavirus is still here and we're not going back yet. So be okay with these new changes and know it's okay to make new adjustments to your budget and forgive yourself when things don't go exactly as planned.”

Nelson has joined the podcast before to discuss how she paid off her student loan debt in two years, and how that process inspired her to create Savvy Girl Money, a platform to help educate others on navigating their own personal finance struggles.

Nelson said she’s hearing from her followers that many fear the unknown, and they are sharing difficulties of job loss or cut wages caused by the pandemic. If you don’t already have an emergency fund, Nelson recommended creating one to as soon as possible to help with any financial hardship that might happen unexpectedly in the future.

She said being a CPA during this time has allowed her to be more level-headed and see a variety of responses to the pandemic, both in her clients and in her Savvy Girl Money followers.

“I tell others to really focus on your long-term goals during this time, because the pandemic and everything going on is short term,” Nelson said. “If you stick to your long-term plan, and act in favor of that, you won’t go wrong.”

For more tips on creating a pandemic budget, listen to the podcast.

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