Before I get to how the Coronavirus has affected me, I want to acknowledge how lucky I am. Nobody that I personally know has gotten sick or died from the virus. My sympathies go out to those who have truly suffered during this crisis.
The virus is affecting me financially. I was laid off, as was everyone else, from my full-time job. They have completely closed the office for an indefinite time. This was a bit of a surprise, as one day we were working like normal and the next everybody was told not to come into the office. I was planning on quitting this job in April, but missing out on a little over a month’s pay will hurt my finances.
Luckily, I have been working a second job and that job is still going strong. It is only 15 hours a week, but luckily I have arranged my life that my monthly expenses are less than my earnings from my part-time job. I’m also lucky that I can work my part-time job from home. The part-time job was supposed to end in April. Now that the tax filing deadline has been extended I’m not sure when it will end.
Another thing working in my favor is that I have saved a few thousand dollars for my trip to Asia this Summer. That money may end up being my emergency fund to live on for the rest of the year instead.
I had two trips planned for this year. My first trip was going to be a hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail at the end of April. The flight for that trip hasn’t been canceled yet. I doubt it will be safe to hike by the end of April, but for now I’m just waiting to see how things change. The airline hasn’t offered a refund or free change on my flight yet so I’m not going to cancel the flight ahead of time in hopes that they will eventually offer a refund or free cancellation for my flight.
My second trip was going to be a trip to Asia. The plan was to fly to Japan at the beginning of June for a few days, then fly to Thailand with a layover in Singapore. This trip appears unlikely to happen. Singapore isn’t currently allowing any foreigners to transit through their airport. Thailand is requiring foreigners to have a certificate of good health before they are allowed into the country. It isn’t really possible to get that certificate right now since doctors have much more important things to attend to right now. Neither of my flights for this trip have been cancelled by the airlines yet. Again, I’m not going to cancel the flights ahead of time in hopes that the airlines will eventually offer a refund or free cancellation for my flights.
The stock market plunge has hit my retirement savings hard. I haven’t looked at my balances for a couple of weeks, but I know they are even lower than when I last checked. Right before the stock market started to tank, I added $4,000 to my IRA in order to increase my tax refund. That ended up being bad timing. I’ve added $200 to my taxable dividend stock account this month to try to buy some bargains. I want to add more, but I also want to conserve my savings. I have a little over $1k left to max out my IRA contribution limit for 2019 and I’m undecided if I should contribute the additional $1k. Since the filing deadline has been extended until July 15, I have a few more months to make up my mind.
As an introvert the social isolation hasn’t been that big of a deal for me. My two main activities outside of the home, other than work, were to go to the movies and to eat at a fast food restaurants while reading my magazines. Neither of those activities are an option now so I’m just staying home and watching Netflix and YouTube for my entertainment. My annual trip to Thailand basically fulfills my physical and mental needs for social interaction for the year. If I’m not able to go this year, I’ll have to figure something else out so I don’t get depressed.
Overall, things are not that bad. Although the Coronavirus has negatively affected me, I think I’m better off than most. How are you doing?