We hope these tips will help you navigate your finances wisely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Control What You Can
- Attitude – give grace to others, withhold judgement, be kind.
- Conserve your money – avoid impulse buying, create a spending plan and stick to it, make cuts to your monthly expenses and be smart on how you handle your finances.
- Health and wellness – pray, get 30 minutes of exercise daily, make healthy food choices, and get 8 hours of sleep.
- Protect Your Health – wash and sanitize your hands and follow social distancing guidelines.
Develop a Job Loss Plan
- Unemployment Insurance – apply for benefits through the state where you worked; program guidelines have been expanded: gig workers and self-employed are now eligible. The Federal government is providing an additional $600 per week in addition to the benefits offered by the state, until July 21, 2020 and an additional 13 weeks of benefits are offered to people who are still unemployed after their state benefit period runs out.
- Apply – start with the US Department of Labor’s Unemployment Benefits Finder.
Prioritize Your Monthly Expenses
- Use the economic impact payment for your necessary living expenses like food, shelter, utilities, and transportation, and stop all unnecessary spending.
- Consider every purchase you make by asking yourself if you really need it, and if you do, can it wait a while.
Connect with Creditors
- Federal Student Loans – interest rates will be 0% and your payment will automatically stop on your federal student loan from March 13 thru September 30, 2020.*
- Personal loans/Credit cards – immediately contact your creditors if you think you cannot pay your loan payment on time to work with you on a possible solution.
- Mortgage Loan – if you are unable to pay your mortgage payment in full, reach out to your loan servicer to work out a plan before becoming delinquent.
- Rent – check with your landlord to see if you can work out a payment arrangement to avoid possible eviction.
Start/Increase Your Emergency Fund
- Save money any way you can (even a small amount will help).
- Automate savings each paycheck using direct deposit.
- Strive to save $1,000 then increase your goal to 3-6 months of necessary expenses.
Lend a Hand Where You Can
- Donate money, food, clothing, masks, and medical supplies to local organizations.
- Support local businesses for goods you would normally purchase online.
- Check on neighbors and friends to make sure they are surviving the crisis in a positive way.
*As of 4/14/2020. Subject to change. Please refer to website for more details. https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus