It’s no secret that times are tough right now for individuals everywhere, especially financially. Whether you’re a business owner or just trying to pay your rent for the month, you’ve likely experienced the increased strain on your finances recently. There are ways to make these hard times a bit easier, but it takes dedication and consistency!
Stay on top of your bills.
Pay your bills on time and avoid missing a payment. Your credit will be affected by a late payment. If you don’t have the funds to pay in full this month, ask for a payment plan, an extension, or to waive the fees. Keep in mind: this should only be done when absolutely necessary and should be abused. If the fees are waived, you will still have to pay, just not right now.
Be aware of possible scams.
There has been an increased number of scammers out there trying to get people’s personal information. Be cautious of opening emails or texts from suspicious addresses or people you don’t know. Avoid clicking links from sources you aren’t familiar with - this goes for on social media, as well. One click on the wrong ad could download a virus to your computer or have access to your personal information.
Apply for unemployment.
If you were laid off, apply for unemployment. The CARES Act expanded who qualifies to receive benefits to reach more of those affected by the coronavirus job loss. Now those who are self-employed and contractors qualify. Any income is better than no income, especially when you still have bills to pay. Right now, those who receive unemployment will get an extra $600 per week, and a 13 week extension of benefits.
Keep your money in the bank.
Don’t withdraw cash if you don’t need to and don’t take more than you need. By keeping it in the bank, you’re keeping your money safe, but you’re also ensuring you’ll spend less of it. Be careful how much you withdraw or how often you throw your debit card around. Manage how many times you take out money and try to bring it to a minimum.
Now is not the time for frivolous spending - there are wants and there are needs, and it’s time to learn the difference. Log where your money goes and look at what you can cut next month. Instead of buying coffee seven days a week, cut that in half or completely, and drink coffee at home. If you only spend money on your bills for the month, we consider that a win!
Use your stimulus check wisely.
If you want to blow your $1,200 check from the government on an action figure collection, we can’t stop you. However, we highly advise you to do one of three things: 1) Put it in your savings. Thank yourself down the road, 2) Put it toward your bills for the month, or 3) use it to pay off some debt.
If you need professional help managing your finances during this time, don’t hesitate to reach out. Skynar Bookkeeping Services thrives on Setting Up, Cleaning Up, and Keeping Up with our client’s finances.