Finances During Coronavirus
The coronavirus has hit us all hard in a variety of ways. It’s difficult not to see our loved ones regularly and many parents have turned into teachers as their young students are learning from home, but one of the ways people are being hit the hardest is their finances.

Sweeping unemployment and reduced hours have made living more stressful than ever as families try and figure out which bills they can pay and how long their savings can last.

Whether you’ve lost your job, your hours have been reduced, or so far, it has just been business as usual, there are some things you should be doing to protect your finances during the coronavirus pandemic.

Consider Hiring an Attorney

The last thing you’re probably thinking about when you’re tightening your belt is reaching out to an attorney, but it may be just what you need to get through these trying times.

There are many instances where you may be able to recover money if you were affected by COVID-19. For example, “Under the law, when you suffer harm due to the carelessness or recklessness of another, you may be eligible to file a claim." If you experienced gross negligence on a cruise ship, you're struggling with your insurance, of you feel you were wrongly terminated, you may have a case.

Most lawyers offer free consultations, so it doesn’t hurt to give them a call. You can tell them more about your situation and they can tell you if it’s worth your time to move forward with the litigation process.

Take Advantage of Discounts and Adjusted Payment Plans

Figuring out how you’re going to pay the bills can cause a lot of stress. Knowing you aren’t alone, and that there are a lot of people out there who are experiencing the same problems, can help. Not only will it make you feel better, but because the problem is so widespread, many companies are doing what they can to ease the burden for their customers.

There are many discounts and adjusted payment plans available for those who have been affected by the coronavirus. Some banks are working with customers on their mortgages, fees are being dropped, and credit card companies are finding ways to help their customers make payments without any penalties. Don’t be afraid to call and ask!

Apply for the Right Government Programs

There is absolutely no shame in needing help during this trying time. Turning to friends, family, and neighbors can help, but there are also government programs in place that can help.

Unemployment is the most common way to receive government assistance quickly. Thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, self-employed workers who previously would not have been able to file can request assistance.

If you don't have insurance, consider COBRA if you're laid off, or even look into Medicare and Medicaid. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program can provide temporary assistance, as can the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Get Creative for Mealtime

Aside from the special assistance, you can find during this time, there are everyday things you can do to spend a little less money. One place you can cut back on relatively easily is food.

That includes looking for deals at the grocery store and eating out less, but you can also save a lot of money if you actually eat your leftovers! A few ideas for making them more appetizing include:
  • Try reheating leftovers the same way they were cooked instead of putting them in the microwave.
  • Treat leftovers as ingredients and find creative ways to create a new dish with the food in the fridge.
  • Learn how to store your leftovers the right way so they last longer.

Don’t Leave Your Savings Account Behind

By all means, use the money you have in your savings account to stay afloat, but do what you can to keep putting money into your savings account, if you can. There are a lot of things at the moment that are cheaper than usual, like gas and car insurance. Consider taking the savings, no matter how small, and tucking them away.

There is a lot that is out of our control during this time, but you aren’t completely at the whim of COVID-19. There are a few things you can do to stay afloat and feel like you’re taking an active role in finding ways to help your family make it through.