This Money Tip Will Get Almost Anyone’s Budget Through Covid-19: Create A List Of Non-Negotiables

Sophia Randazzo
June 29, 2020

No question about it: it’s unprecedented times. With that in mind, we wanted to source some helpful money tips that speak to the times we find ourselves in. To do that we partnered with a few of our Instagram friends @citygirlsavings, @forbetterorworth, and @investinglatina on a contest.

The winner, Armand Rivers (@wallstreetbound), is a 28-year-old from Columbus, Ohio who is currently an auditor for JPMorgan Chase. His core money tip — formed during this pandemic — inspired him to “focus on what truly matters” while being fiscally responsible. It’s something everyone can and should be doing right now.

Per Rivers: “Create a list of non-negotiables in your budget. For all negotiables, make a list from most important to least important and keep one to two negotiables. This will build a survival plan and habits to maintain during unprecedented times. This what determines what truly matters to you, based on your values and priorities.”

Rivers uses this advice in his own life. “I have applied this response to my life based on what I need,” he shared. “I have a budget where I list my income and expenses, placing my remaining amounts in my various savings accounts, Roth IRA, and a brokerage account. I review my bank statements within my apps and closely monitor my credit card statements to ensure I do not go overboard on spending. Since COVID-19, I evaluated what I needed to survive. I reduced a lot of shopping for frivolous items such as clothing and alcohol which has saved me a lot of money.”

This hasn’t been the first time Rivers took control of his budget. When he first graduated college in 2015, he ended up in $17k of debt for a new car. In 2017, he confronted his additional $9,000 of credit card debt (caused by his “need to keep up with my peers”) and paid off his credit card debt in five months. He started budgeting in 2018 and began actively saving money. He was able to finally pay off his car in November of 2019. He is currently working on paying off $4,000 of a personal loan and is actively looking to transition out of his auditor role and into one “where I can see my work impact others making a difference.”

Bottom line: Take some inspiration from Rivers. A lot of people do seem to be realizing the importance of saving right now (the savings rate across the country has sky-rocketed) but how you go about it can end up having a dramatic impact on your wallet.

And remember — if you struggle with debt of any kind, make sure to join our Facebook Group “Let’s Talk About Debt” today!

Feature Image: Twenty20