Protecting Your Financial Future in a Pandemic
By Oleg Yavorovskiy, founder and CEO, Guardian Debt Relief
photo credit: Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash
With unemployment at a record high, the coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll not just on its victims but on the economy as well. Here are some tips to strengthen your finances, mitigate damage and get to a better financial position in uncertain times.
Check eligibility for assistance
Are you eligible for coronavirus benefits? With senate having passed the $2 trillion CARES Act, Americans can expect to get relief in the form of two categories. The first is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, covering gig and service workers and those directly impacted by COVID-19. The second benefit will allow those collecting unemployment to get an extra $600 per week for four months. Call your state’s Department of Labor and check eligibility for benefits.
Reduce and eliminate expenses
What services are you no longer using that could save you money? Reevaluate all monthly charges to see if you still want or need them. Save at least $50 a month by canceling cable. Compare your current home, auto and life insurance rates to see if you can find a better deal. For example, Allstate is providing discounts during the pandemic given consumers’ reduced driving activity. Suspend the gym and club memberships you are unable to use. Call your mobile phone company to get a better deal—or switch to a lower-cost provider. Applying these tips alone should save you at least $1,200 per year.
Purchase necessities only
Payments like rent, food purchases, and other necessities cannot be put on hold. While there are mortgage-payment deferral options for homeowners, there are currently no such options for renters. Consider listing your spare room on Airbnb or getting a roommate to reduce your financial obligations. Some grocery delivery services offer substantial savings for trying them out, such as Fresh Direct and Imperfect Foods. Use tools like Honey and Wikibuy to get the best deals. Cook at home to save money instead of ordering in.
Earn extra money
More than half of all Americans have been ordered to stay home, preventing the spread of coronavirus but also limiting income earning activities. Earn from home by signing up with Upwork or Fiverr to sell your freelance services, such as writing and graphic design. Give virtual lessons in the area you specialize in. Try your luck listing your old stuff for sale on eBay to simultaneously earn extra cash and declutter.
Eliminate bad debt
Last year, consumer debt hit a record-breaking $14 trillion, and with the national average credit card interest rate hovering at 16.69%, it’s no surprise that consumers are unable to pay off their debt—particularly during a pandemic. Consumers should look into debt relief options including debt settlement. A debt settlement partner can help consumers, regardless of past mistakes or credit history, eliminate debt by negotiating directly with creditors on consumers’ behalf. The consumer can expect to save a significant portion on their debt as well as in the form of future interest payments and finance charges. Best of all, they can eliminate debt in a fast and affordable manner.
Putting these positive efforts into motion result in greater savings, benefits and the ability to weather the coronavirus pandemic that has engulfed the country. During this health and economic crisis, taking care of one’s personal health and financial position are of utmost importance to ensure future well-being.