MovetoTacoma.com creator Marguerite asked her financial coach, Chris to convert their monthly call to a podcast to get his advice. Chris has been helping Marguerite track her spending and get out of debt for over five years. Marguerite is worried since she is self employed, but ready to face the uncertainty and create an emergency budget in the face of Covid-19. But how do we do it? It is impossible to predict the full economic fallout as we face the Covid-19 pandemic. For those of us who own small businesses or who have just had our places of employment closed- there are VERY BIG CONCERNS about loss of income. How do you create an emergency budget in the face of so much uncertainty? 1. Get clear - You need to know what's coming in and what's going out. If you have lost your job but your spouse still has some income figure out how much you still have coming in. Next, you need to make a list of all of the current spending you are doing. Chris recommends looking up your previous months bank statements and listing out all of your spending and categorizing it to see what your spending is NOW. 2. Create a Spending Plan for your new income reality - What are the fixed bills in your life? What are the things you absolutely need. Fixed bills are things like mortgage/rent, utilities, and phone bill. Next might be car payment, car insurance, your life insurance, and student loans. A list of necessities usually begins with food and groceries. Chris says to ask yourself, "What do I need in order to survive?" Chris says not to forget about prescriptions, and mental health and well being. We discussed the need to prioritize spending our money in our own communities over spending money at corporations and out of our communities. If you have the option to spend money with your neighbors, do it! 3. Stigma and Shame - Chris suggested that we re-evaluate our way of life and our spending and get creative. Marguerite said that during the 2008 Financial Crisis she experienced a lot of shame when the market fell very quickly, because it only seemed to impact a few people at first. With Covid-19, everyone seems to be struggling. Chris says, "If somebody is going to judge me, that's on them." We must be honest with each other and ask for help if we need it. We are all in this together. 4. Daily practice/choose clarity - Each day we should go through practices that make you YOU so that you can take on your day. For Chris his daily coffee is an essential ritual. At the beginning of each day figure out for yourself, "This is the thing I need to do to have financial clarity." And then do it.Chris said that maintaining focus and clarity and facing our finances is key to navigating this uncertainty. "You have to ask yourself, is there anything I can do?" he says. "If not, set it aside."