COID-19 has greatly impacted countless households and businesses, and many people are financially struggling. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has published an article on how to protect your finances during this outbreak. Click here for more information. NerdWallet has also released an article about Tips for handling your finances. Click here to read more.
Here are some important takeaways from the two articles:
Contact your lenders, loan servicers, and creditors.
If you are unable to pay your bills, please contact your financial institutions to discuss your current financial situation and work out other payment options. The CFPB states that alternative payment options could include “waiving certain fees like ATM, overdrafts, and late fees, as well as allowing you to delay, adjust, or skip some payments.”
You can find their contact information through your lender’s, or credit company’s, website. If you can’t may your mortgage, contact your mortgage servicer. If you’re having trouble paying your credit card, talk to your credit card company. Your financial institutions are aware of these unsettling times, so and the CFPB has encouraged many financial institutions to work with their customers to fit their needs.
If you are having trouble paying your student loans, contact your student loan servicer. If your loan is held by the federal government, your loan payments are postponed with no interest until September 30, 2020.
Try not to let your loans go into default or delinquency because it can have a lasting effect on your credit.
Be aware of scams related to the coronavirus.
There are people out there who will take advantage of others in their most vulnerable places. Fake emails, texts, websites, and social media posts can ruse you can take your money and personal information.
The CFPB has also published an article that further details this topic. Click here for more information. Federal Trade Commission has also released tips on how to avoid scams. Click here to learn more. Lastly, the FTC and FDA have cautioned consumers to steer clear of unapproved products claiming to treat/prevent coronavirus. Click here to read more.
Investing: “the best reaction is no reaction at all.”
Even though the stock market seems to be in shambles, your best move is to not make any moves right now. NerdWallet states: “When it comes to the stock market, playing the long game is the smartest money move. The best reaction is no reaction at all.”
But when it comes to retirement, they advise investors to have “safe money,” such as bonds or target-date funds. Take a less risky approach because you need your money to last you a number of years.
Prioritize your most important bills, such as mortgages, utilities, and rent. If possible, make sure to continue saving and have an emergency fund.
NerdWallet recommends using the 50/30/20 budget — of your take-home pay, 50% goes towards need, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings. If need be, you can back on the 30% wants.
Make some extra money online.
Whether you have lost your job, you are on unpaid leave, or you have some extra time on your hands, here are some ways you can make money from home.
Take surveys. The two most highly rates survey apps are Survey Junkie and Swagbucks. You may find yourself lounging around with nothing to do, try spending a few minutes a day to make a little bit of money.
Sell your stuff. It’s a great time to start Spring Cleaning! Try going through your closets, your basement, and your storage to find old appliances, clothes, or technology that you can sell. Try applying the Marie Kondo technique: does that shoulder-padded blazer really give you happiness? If not, try selling it on Poshmark or Depop. If you have an unused Kindle or cell phone, try selling it on eBay and Gazelle.
Consider freelancing. Use websites such as Fiverr or Insolvo to find freelance work as a writer, designer, copywriter, or virtual assistant. You can also look at Facebook or freelancer groups and virtual assistant groups. With freelance, you can make an average of $30 to $70 per hour.
Use delivery services. If you feel comfortable, sign up with Door Dash, Postmates, or Uber Eats and make upwards of $12 per hour. With many people staying home, they are using these services to deliver their meals and groceries. Be sure to follow all federal and state guidelines to stay safe and healthy.
Adcock, Steve. “12 Ideas to Help You Make Money during the Coronavirus.” Ladders, 30 Mar. 2020, www.theladders.com/career-advice/12-ideas-to-help-you-make-money-during-the-coronavirus.
CFPB. “Protect Yourself Financially from the Impact of the Coronavirus.” Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 3 Apr. 2020, www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/protect-yourself-financially-from-impact-of-coronavirus/.
Lai, Valerie. “NerdWallet Experts’ Tips on Handling Finances During the Coronavirus Outbreak.” NerdWallet, 25 Mar. 2020, www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/expert-advice-on-finances-during-coronavirus/.