Is the COVID-19 crisis resulting in your own financial crisis? You’re not alone. Many people have been furloughed or laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic. You might be one of them. Although it’s a difficult situation, there are steps you can take to improve your finances.
1. Make use of your library.
If you’re stuck at home, you’ll need something to entertain you. Don’t overlook your library.
Many libraries have closed their doors to the public, but community members still have access to the many digital resources that libraries offer. This includes e-books that you can borrow from your computer, tablet or phone. It may also include movies, online courses and other free resources to keep you busy while you’re stuck at home. Go to your library’s website for more information.
2. Save money on food.
Many people are trying to support local restaurants by ordering take out and delivery. If you can afford to this, it’s a great option.
However, for people who have had to tighten the purse strings in response to coronavirus layoffs, not eating out could result in some much-needed savings. When you buy groceries, shop for the ingredients needed to make low-cost meals at home.
Need some inspiration? Check out Taste of Home’s list of 60 Cheap Dinner Ideas for Under $10.
3. Look for a new job.
Although many companies have had to cut hours and let workers go, other companies have had to hire more workers to keep up with the rise in demand. This may include many grocery stores and other essential businesses in your area.
If you’re worried about catching COVID-19, you might be hesitant to take one of these jobs, but there are options for you as well. Some companies are hiring remote workers, meaning that you could work from the comfort and safety of your home. Check out CNBC’s list of 18 companies that are hiring remote workers now.
4. Put your stimulus check to good use.
You may be getting a check from the government soon. As part of the recently passed CARES Act, millions of Americans will receive economic impact payments of up to $1,200 per person. Many people will receive the payment via direct deposit.
Watch out for scams and check the IRS website for more information.
5. File for unemployment.
The CARES Act also expands unemployment benefits. If you qualify for unemployment benefits, you may receive an extra $600 in weekly benefits for up to four months. To apply, contact your state’s unemployment office
6. Get your tax refund.
The IRS has extended the federal income tax filing deadline from April 15, 2020 until July 15, 2020. However, if you think you will be owed a refund, there is no reason to delay filing. The sooner you file, the sooner you will get your refund, so don’t wait.
7. See if you qualify for student loan relief.
If you have federal student loans, your payments may stop automatically between March 13, 2020 and September 30, 2020. Whether or not your loans qualify for this will depend on who owns your loans. You can also request an income driven repayment plan. Contact your student loan servicer for details.
8. Contact your lenders.
If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, car loan, credit cards or other debt during the coronavirus crisis, contact your lenders to see if help is available.
9. Create a budget.
The coronavirus pandemic is creating financial troubles for a lot of people, but let’s be honest – many of us weren’t in great financial shape before COVID-19 started spreading.
A solid budget can help you achieve your financial goals. If you’ve put off creating a budget, now that you’re stuck inside, it’s a good time to finally tackle this task. Check out this U.S. News article for 10 Simple and Free Budgeting Tools.
10. See if you can save money on car insurance.
If you haven’t shopped around for car insurance in a while, you might be paying more than you need to. Get an instant auto insurance quote from Jupiter now.