Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Will Coronavirus Change Your Financial Goals?

By Christy Bieber - Apr 18, 2020 at 11:46AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Does the crisis have you rethinking how you spend your money?

Coronavirus has changed many aspects of American life. And while this crisis is hopefully temporary and life will soon return to a new normal, the pandemic may very well have a more long-term effect on your own plans for the future or on how you manage money. 

If the COVID-19 pandemic has you rethinking things, it's important you take the right steps to make the changes you want to see in your financial situation. 

Woman looking at notebook and calculator.

Image source: Getty Images.

How coronavirus may lead to rethinking your financial goals

Black swan events such as coronavirus often cause you to take stock of your life and financial situation, especially in these unprecedented circumstances where both your health and your financial security are at risk. And with coronavirus leaving millions locked in their homes, the effect of the crisis may be even more profound than normal. 

In these troubled times, you may find yourself wishing you had a larger emergency fund or that you weren't dependent on just one employer for your paycheck. Or you may decide that you enjoy your time at home and want to prioritize retiring early.

These new realizations you come to could change your priorities about what to do with your money -- but you'll need to make long-term behavioral changes for your new goals to come to fruition.

How to achieve new objectives you set for yourself

If you're setting new objectives for yourself in light of the coronavirus pandemic, there's a proven way to ensure you implement the lifestyle changes necessary to achieve them.

It starts by setting goals the right way, which means setting SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.  

If you hope to not be dependent solely on an employer for income, for example, you could set a new goal to develop your own business or to pick up some freelance work in addition to your primary job.

But you don't just want to set a vague goal that you won't achieve. You'd want to specify, for example, that your goal is to find three new clients by Dec. 31, 2020. This would be a reasonable goal, directly relevant to starting a business, and time-bound. You could also easily measure your progress to make sure you're on track with achieving it. 

Whether your new goals are to retire early, save more emergency cash, change your investment strategy to better survive market downturns, or do something else specific to your situation, you can go through this process. Just be sure to be detailed, to break big goals down into small ones, and to set a timeline for achieving your plans. 

And the good news is, you can do these steps now, while you are thinking about how you want to come out of this crisis and while you have time on your hands during this period of social distancing.

The pandemic may usher in a new normal for you

COVID-19 could change the world in many ways, affecting how people work and shop and even greet friends. If it's caused you to rethink your financial situation, you likely aren't alone.

By following the advice above, hopefully you can make your new financial goals a reality and can effectively re-prioritize your spending to accomplish the things that the crisis clarified are most important to you. 

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/17/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.