Millions have now lost their jobs during this Coronavirus epidemic affecting the whole world. In this post, we discuss how to stretch your money during this epidemic.
It has been sad to see millions of Americans who have never needed the assistance of food banks being forced to do so now. Even those of us who are still employed have seen salaries being reduced in some cases and in fear for the security of our jobs.
It is therefore very important that we find ways on how we can stretch our money during this COVID-19 epidemic.
How To Stretch Your Money During the Coronavirus Epidemic
In the following paragraphs, I will share some of these tips in the hope that we can all weather the financial storm we are in.
Take Advantage of CARES Act
If you live in America you are definitely aware of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act which has set some moratoriums. Under this you can for example defer your mortgage payments for up to 360 days.
I would definitely take advantage of this and have some breathing space until the economy is back in full swing.
If you have student loans then the government is also offering you an opportunity to pause payments including interest to September 2020. Unfortunately, this does not apply to private student loans but only federal student loans.
In other countries, governments have offered various ways to help their people. We can all, therefore, study our situations and take advantage of all these pauses.
There is nothing to lose in this situation as the interest rates are being frozen during this period.
Contact lenders For Help
During this period most lenders are very flexible when it comes to helping customers who are struggling to pay their loans. In fact, the regulators have asked lenders to be more considerate during this epidemic.
If you are therefore struggling financially then you need to call your credit card company, bank, etc to discuss if they can allow you to pause payments.
The major financial organization will be willing to waive any late payment fees and even freeze the interest for you. You just need to call them. Don’t wait till you miss payments to contact them.
Review Your Budget and Cut Discretionary Expenses
If ever there was the right time to review your family or personal budget then that time is now. There can be no better time than during a financial crisis to sit down and see what you can cut.
There are some areas that are fixed and not part of discretionary expenses such as rent, utility bills fees, etc that we cannot afford not to pay even if the government may be offering some time.
However, there are some discretionary expenses that need to be seriously reviewed and if possible cut. Below are some of those areas.
Cable TV subscription
If there is one area that we can do without and still be happy then it is a cable television subscription. There enough free channels around to occupy our time.
If you are looking for news channels you can easily find dozens of them in most areas. You will be spoilt for choice.
If you were paying for sports then the fact that most sports activities have been stopped is enough reason to cancel or suspend such subscriptions.
To be really honest the television it taking away time we should be having with friends and family. Therefore cutting this expense can go a long in improving our relationships.
I would, therefore, advise you to contact your service provider to find out any penalties for canceling your subscription. If it is reasonable then go ahead and cancel it. You won’t regret it I can assure you and you will save money too.
The savings you make from this can be used for other important things like investing in stocks, treasury bills, etc.
Most gyms have been shut in most states anyway so there is no reason why anyone should still be paying for this. And even if they reopen, gyms should be a no go area for any health-conscious person until the scientist either find a cure or vaccine.
In the meantime, it should be a place where the virus can spread rapidly. I would therefore not hesitate to get rid of such memberships.
I personally enjoy reading all sorts of magazines and newspapers but this is a discretionary expense. It should, therefore, be among the expenses to be gotten rid of during this time.
You can replace this with internet news on Google, Yahoo, or MSN. There are so many news sites that offer news for free that you can take advantage of.
Find Ways To Make Extra Cash
There are some things out there that you can do to make extra cash in these tough economic times. Below are some things that you can do to earn extra cash.
Decluttering Your Home and Selling Them
We all have items in our houses that we really do not use or need anymore. For instance, I have at least four old laptop computers that I can easily sell on eBay and other sites.
You, therefore, need to take an inventory of the stuff that you have and get rid of the excess stuff. You will be surprised at the amount of money you can make from this.
Maybe this could be an opportunity for you to learn how to live as a minimalist.
If you know how to teach then you can take advantage of the fact that most students are learning at home. There are so many sites out there that you can join and they will link you up with some students.
If you are lucky you can easily make an extra $1000 monthly doing online tutoring.
I have a post that goes through this and other online jobs, it is titled, 6 Best Online Tutoring Jobs. I would urge you to visit this post.
Make Money Blogging
Did you know that there are people out there who make money by just blogging? I have a post titled, How To Start A WordPress Blog on Bluehost that will help you start blogging today.
You however need to be aware that this is not a get rich quick way. You need to put in the hours and days before you see the fruits of your labor.
It takes at least eight months for Google to start taking your site seriously and ranking you well. If withing that period you have done good work and has posted a good number of posts, your blog will take off.
I should however point out that there are other ways of getting traffic other than Google.
I have seen people who through promoting their blogs through social media and forums have managed to earn a few hundred dollars even in the early days. However, for most people, it does take a bit of time to start earning anything.
Find Jobs In Your Area that Pay Cash
If you searched on classified ads or on Facebook you could find some under the table jobs that can make you instant cash.
There could be people in your area looking for someone to mow their lawns for example. This is a simple job that can help you get cash immediately.
Another under the table job that should be readily available during this pandemic should be running errands for old people. This disease is killing old people at a very high rate so most old people are fearful of going to shops etc.
You can, therefore, offer to buy groceries for old people in your area or you can find such jobs on Facebook jobs and other sites.
The gig economy
Due to the fact that most people are afraid to take public transport, ride-hailing businesses like uber are going to make a lot of money as the economy opens. This is therefore an opportunity to make extra cash by being an uber driver.
While I have heard of some Uber drivers complaining of the revenue that they make, I have also met uber drivers who are making a killing. It all depends on the area you are living in. If it is densely populated you will have more business and therefore more money.
Another gig that you can consider joining is the delivery of restaurant orders. This is especially lucrative now as most people are avoiding going to restaurants. They prefer just ordering their food online.
We can, therefore, take advantage of these restaurants’ reorientation to make money delivering these orders. All you need is a vehicle to use.
Put Some Goals on Hold
If you started this year with some financial goals to accomplish, maybe, it is time you put that on hold. This is not a good time to for example try and buy the car of your dreams.
Your focus should be on survival. Once the crisis is over you can then go back to your financial goals.
If your goal was to clear your credit card debt, this may not be the best time to spend more money. This can be put on hold as you need all the funds you can get to stay afloat.
I’m not saying that you stop completely paying your credit card debt. You can still pay what you are required to pay.
I am however talking of payments over and above what you were suppposed to pay.
I hope you have learned a lot on how to stretch your money during this COVID-19 epidemic. Please share your views in the comments section below.