- Stimulus checks will take weeks
- Grocery stores are still open
- Working from home is an option
Reasons For Hope
If you’re stuck at home, try being safe at home instead, and read on for some money tips right now. Chances are, like many others, you are safe at home, and only tangentially affected by the new COVID-19 strain decimating the population. You may know someone suffering, and you’re worried about them. You may not know anyone who has contractied the disease yet, but you’re sure you will before it’s all over.
And chances are, you’re worried about your finances. The good news is that the US government has passed a law granting some relief to taxpayers. The CARES Act will help somewhat, as taxpayers will be receiving money with an additional benefit for chidren. Every adult earning less than $75,000 annually will receive a check for $1,200. Couples earning up to $150,000 will receive a $2,400 check. Further, $500 will be given for each child.
More Good News
In addition, the April 15 tax-filing deadline has been pushed back. This means you can have a bit more time to get your paperwork together and put everything in order. If you are home, this could be a great time for you to gather up all your receipts and W2s and put them all in one spot so you can file easily when you are ready.
Stimulus checks should be going out soon, and may come more quickly if you have given direct deposit information to the IRS when you submitted taxes. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has claimed stimulus funds could be deposited via direct deposit in about three weeks.
Although some financial relief is coming, it may not be enough to help you if you’ve lost your job. There may be some things you can do to help yourself, which we’ll talk about in the next section. FIrst, know that you’re not alone. Small and large businesses are feeling the pinch, as are ordinary Americans. Losing a job is stressful enough, without the added component of not knowing when stores and corporations will reopen, and if they will hire back their staff when they do.
It can be very tempting if you’ve received a severance package, to spend that money, but it’s good advice to save it where possible, so that you have a cushion against coming months in case of emergency. Saving money is always advisable, and it is definitely helpful to already have a month’s “extra” money in the bank, but for many it is too late for that now. If you’ve received severance, are receiving une,mployment, or have other benefits coming in, save what you can.
Money Tips For Right Now
If you’re still working, you are likely still making payments into your 401k. If you’ve found that funds are tighter than usual due to everything going on in the world, you may be able to request a pause in contributions to your retirement account.
If you’re in desperate times, you can consider taking a loan out against your 401k, which no one recommends, but the realities of life sometimes force. This can give your bank account a immediate boost and you can repay yourself out of your coming paychecks.
Consider asking your credit card, mortgage or rent, student loan or any other financial institution if payments can be deferred for the moment. There has already been some decisions made in that regard, to the benefit of students and homeowners. But you may have to reach out for the benefit to apply to you.
Lastly, don’t go crazy with online shopping. It can be super tempting right now to buy, buy, buy, because you’re home, need entertainment, and can see all the areas of your home or apartment that you want to fix up. If you’re not overly affected at the moment, continue social distancing, washing your hands, and keeping an eye on your money.