The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis continues to be a stressful time. It’s safe to say that all of us are feeling a mix of confusion and anxiety.
Many of us are dealing with the loss of income, reduced hours, and keeping up with bills. Focusing on the things we can control in the face of uncertainty is important for us all.
Here are actions you can take to address financial concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak:
Track and Prioritize Your Financial Situation
- Use a notebook to write down everything you are doing and plan to do.
- It’s overwhelming to decide which bills to pay during the pandemic. The importance is different for everyone but food, housing, utilities, medicine, and transportation are typically people’s most important needs. Focus on your needs and make a list in the notebook.
- It will be easier if everything related to your financial situation is in one place. Review your plans to be sure you aren’t missing anything.
Contact Your Unemployment Office
- If you have lost a job due to the global pandemic, contact your state unemployment office online and apply for benefits. Don’t think you qualify? It’s still smart to connect with the unemployment office. Unemployment income can help you meet your daily expenses
- You may qualify for an extra $600 per week of benefits which is part of the new CARES legislation, on top of the normal benefits.
- Benefits are now available to those who don’t normally qualify, such as those that work as contractors who are not able to work right now.
Look for Community Resources
- Find out what community programs are available to help with immediate expenses like groceries.
- United Way’s 211 service can connect you to local resources for food, utility assistance, emergency shelter, and other services in your community.
- Dial 211 on your phone to connect with resources in your local area.
Manage Housing Expenses
- Communicate with your mortgage company or landlord, as well as utility companies.
- Locate each company’s contact information and form a list, then work through your list in order of necessity.
- It may take time to get through to some services so plan to spend time on hold.
Understand the Stimulus Check
- Within the next few weeks, many Americans will receive funds from the CARES Act through stimulus checks.
- Those who qualify will receive up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child.
- Review these tips as you put some thought into how you will use stimulus funds. Planning for the money before it’s in your hand will help you put it to your highest priority.
- Start an emergency fund with some of the stimulus check, whether you need to use the money immediately or over the next few weeks. The act of starting an emergency fund – no matter the amount – helps reduce stress during these stressful times.
Financial Concerns from the Coronavirus – Final Thoughts
GreenPath offers COVID-19 financial resources during this time of financial concerns from the coronavirus.
Contact GreenPath to team with compassionate and knowledgeable financial wellness experts that guide you through these rough times and create a plan for your unique situation.