COVID-19 is creating drastic financial circumstances everywhere. Read on to learn how to cope with the financial pressure in tough times here.
The unemployment rate in the United States has now risen above 20%. Because of COVID-19, this is the highest it’s been in an incredibly long time.
And even if you haven’t lost your job, the extra people across the country are facing tough financial circumstances. In these uncertain times, it can be tough to know how to deal with financial pressure.
For this reason, we’ve created this guide outlining ways you can cope with financial pressure during the COVID-19 crisis. Keep reading for more information.
What Are You Eligible For?
First and foremost, know that there are lots of resources available to those who have been negatively affected by the coronavirus. If you were laid off from your job, look into applying for unemployment in your state.
Because of the recently passed CARES Act, more people are now eligible for this assistance, including freelancers.
If you’re a small business owner, you should also look into the small business loans available through the federal government. And the great news is that if you use 75% of the loan towards payroll expenses, it will turn into a grant and not need to be paid back.
Also, look into community resources. Many areas are providing free lunches to kids through the public school system. There are also food banks providing assistance.
Prioritize Your Payments
Next, it’s time to look at your budget. When experiencing financial pressure and stress, it’s easy for it to feel incredibly overwhelming.
And when we feel super overwhelmed, it’s easy to not know what to do, resulting in us do nothing.
But this is a bad idea when it comes to your financial situation. Instead, start by prioritizing your payments. Here’s how.
If you’ve experienced a loss in income and don’t have enough to make ends meets, this is for you.
Start by making sure you take care of your basic needs. These include:
- Necessary Food
- Necessary Clothing
- Transportation (Public or Personal)
Let’s start with food. Begin by meal planning, choosing meals that are easy and affordable to prepare. This way, you’ll have a plan and won’t be as tempted to waste money eating out.
Then think about your rent or mortgage. Are you able to make your payment this month? If not, reach out to your landlord or mortgage company.
Many are offering various relief programs to help with financial pressure at this time.
Another avenue to take is to work with your utility company. Many of them are offering delayed payments so you’re electricity or water don’t get shut off.
Also, look at things you can cut out of your budget for a while. Music or TV streaming can be paused. Gym memberships or other subscriptions can take a break while you get on your feet.
Keep in mind that you may not be able to pay for everything. This can be frustrating and scary, but these are unique times. You’ll get back on your feet soon.
Look for Other Sources of Income
Next, if you’ve lost your job or had your hours reduced, it’s a good idea to start looking for other income sources. No one knows how long this pandemic will last or if it will go away only to return a few months later in the fall.
While some industries have been negatively affected by COVID-19, forcing layoffs, others are looking to hire people now.
These industries include grocery stores, online delivery companies, and food delivery companies as well.
Also, think about the possibility of freelancing. If you have a skill like copywriting or graphic design, you could find clients and freelance for them from home.
Another idea is to start selling things you don’t need. Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are popular places where you can get rid of things you don’t want anymore while making some money.
So instead of just taking your junk to a donation center, see if you can sell it to make a little extra cash.
Don’t Worry About Your Credit Score
Another financial tip: during this unprecedented time, don’t stress too much about your credit score. If you’re going to miss some payments or if you have to make unique circumstances with your creditors, your score will go down.
But the worse situation is to default on your loans. A foreclosure or losing your car because you didn’t make payments is much worse than a drop in your credit score for a time.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
It’s no secret that these uncertain times can have a negative effect on your mental health. And if you’re experiencing financial difficulties, this makes it even worse.
So in order for you to cope, make sure you take care of your mental health.
One way to do this is to stay active. Go on a run, shoot some hoops, or do an in-home workout. These can produce endorphins that elevate your mood.
Another idea? Play a game, like a classic board game or Fortnite on Mac.
Also pay attention to your emotions. Realize that it’s okay to have intense feelings during this time and that things will pass eventually.
Coping with Financial Pressure During COVID-19
There you have it: some of the top ways to cope with financial pressure due to COVID-19. It’s a unique time that’s been tough for a majority of the country.
If you’re struggling, you’re not alone. Want additional tips and tricks? Check out our blog for more help today.