There’s so much doom and gloom nowadays, it can be difficult to see the light.
With everybody glued to their TVs watching the news cycle all day and worrying about their jobs, the health of people in our country, and our economy, it can be helpful to step back and look at some of the good news that’s happening all around us because of the coronavirus.
Here are a few I can think of right off the bat…
The crash shook me enough that I’m starting to write again.
I really felt like I needed to be out front to talk to all of you again amid all the chaos and uncertainty. It’s actually been quite a while, and it feels energizing to be back.
I like writing and communicating, and this is going to be good for me mentally too, because there’s nothing like trying to think of what I want to convey week in and week out. But let me write more about the mental aspect of me writing less in another post…
I’ve spent very little in the past few weeks.
And it’s not just spending $0 on discretionary items either. Some of what I considered necessities like gas, or even my food budget dropped off a cliff too.
I’ve saved closed to $1,000 already in the past month due to staying at home practically the entire time. That’s money I can use to pay down debt, or put into the market for the long term. Sweet!
And the reward far exceeds the one time benefit. Now I know that if push comes to shove, and I really need to hunker down and save, there’s a ton of room in the budget to pare down expenses. $1,000 a month is nothing to sneeze at.
I also know that I can’t just overlook spending in what I’m categorizing as necessary either. I mean, if half of the food budget can be pared down without really trying, then is food costs in the budget really “necessary”?
Many people are getting a bit of cash for the immediate future.
Stimulus checks are a lifeline to those who lost their income, and money to enhance their financial future for others. Either way, this is a welcome and needed policy from our political leaders.
There are other sources of free money, too.
Some car insurance companies, for instance, are issuing refunds and credits since claims for car accidents are way down. That’s surprising but pleasant news.
My insurance is with Travelers, and I read that they are going to credit 15% of my April and May premium.
Here’s a list of what major car insurance companies have announced:
- Allstate is offering 15% credit of April and May premiums.
- American Family is offering a one-time payment of $50 per vehicle you have insured with them.
- Chubb is offering a 35% premium reduction for the months of April and May.
- Esurance is sending a straight refund of 15% of April and May premiums.
- Farmers is offering 25% of one month’s premium.
- GEICO is offering a 15% credit.
- Liberty Mutual is offering a 15% credit of April and May premiums.
- Progressive is offering a 20% credit of April and May premiums.
- State Farm is offering a credit to premiums paid from March 20 to end of May. They say on average, you will see a 25% policy credit.
- Travelers is offering 15% off of April and May in credits.
- USAA is offering credit applied to April and May business of 20%.
And here is some non-financial and, perhaps, more-important good news…
I get to spend so much more time with my family.
It’s been hectic trying to learn all the online platforms the schools have thrown at us for the kids to continue their classes remotely, but it’s also been an invaluable time to bond with them.
This could very well be the last time your family are home with you literally 24/7. Go out for a walk when the coast is clear. Talk with everyone at the house around the dinner table. Find out what they like and start doing some activities together. Pop that wine if you must, but cherish and use this time wisely!
The Earth has gotten some much-needed rest.
Reports after reports are surfacing that show how much pollution dropped since the country is under lockdown. This makes sense, as the drastic reduction in car commutes alone will make a real dent on air quality.
Have you looked out the window lately? You can definitely see farther out these days. When the air is cleaner, you will be healthier in the long run too. Take a moment to breathe in some very, very fresh air.
We may even find out years later that this period may have been pivotal in reversing some of the nasty trends, like climate change, we keep hearing about. We shall see.
People are dying from the coronavirus, but other types of deaths have surely gone down.
I’m not sure if the official numbers are out yet, but all the social distancing must be reducing the number of people from developing pneumonia and dying from the normal flu.
Car accident deaths is coming down too. That’s confirmed by car insurance companies offering credits and refunds.
I imagine gun violence is down too, since fewer people come face to face with each other these days.
COVID-19 is even having an effect on war around the world. Saudi Arabia just declared recently that they will stop bombing and fighting in Yemen, in an effort to prevent a virus outbreak in the region.
There has got to be fewer burglaries these days as well. I mean, how can anyone break into any houses when everyone is staying home? And even if they don’t care that someone’s home, I bet even crooks would be afraid of catching a virus by blindly entering someone’s house.
Lastly, I don’t remember a time when there have been so many funny and creative memes and videos.
Toilet paper memes? Check.
Poking fun at home schooling woes? Double check.
Speaking of creative videos, check out this family’s recreation of the Simpson’s intro during their time social distancing!
Look. This pandemic’s been bad, and there’s no getting around it. But we can’t live life zeroing in on the negatives because we will just go crazy.
Have you lost your job recently, or have been asked to drastically reduce your take home pay? Just remember that this too shall pass. There is a silver lining somewhere waiting for you to find.
You just need to keep looking for it.