How To Rescue Your Finances

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread financial uncertainty across the country.  As previously reported, the House passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill last week, called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in an effort to alleviate some of this financial stress.  It includes one-time direct payments of $1,200 to millions of Americans, as well as emergency loans for struggling businesses, hospital aid, and stronger unemployment benefits, but there are very specific rules about who can and can’t get them.  To get more details and see how Billshark breaks it all down for you, click here: https://www.billshark.com/blog/will-you-get-a-coronavirus-relief-check
Some things to note
  • You will need to file a tax return in order to receive the money
  • If you are ineligible based on your 2019 salary, but are now eligible due to a loss of income in 2020, the plan won’t help you just yet, but it could help once you file your 2020 tax return next year
  • Anyone who is able to work from home or who is getting paid sick or family leave will not be covered by the bill
  • People who are entering the workforce for the first time, but are unable to find jobs will also be ineligible
  • People who quit their jobs — even if they quit due to fear of going into work and catching the virus — won’t be covered
  • how-to-rescue
What you can do now
Whether you are eligible for payments or not, there are things you can do to ease the burden:
  • If you recently lost your job, see if you qualify to file for unemployment (the amount you collect will vary state by state)
  • If you own your own business or are a sole proprietor, you might be able to apply for a new small business loan — there are many online institutions that can help with this remotely
  • Take stock of your bills and see where you can cut spending
Going through bills
It’s important to feel productive during this time of social isolation and going through your bills to identify savings is a perfect way to do it:
  • Make a list of all of your recurring bills, identifying what you can cut and where you could be overpaying and don’t limit the list to phone/ internet/TV and utilities
  • Look at all of your streaming services such as Spotify, Netflix, and other monthly subscriptions and ask yourself if there is any overlap, duplication or waste.  If so, try to consolidate by canceling anything unnecessary
  • If you are using exercise apps to stay healthy during the pandemic, try to resist subscribing to multiple services — pick the one that offers the most variety — and look for the free classes that are posted on social media
  • Make sure the cancellation policies on all of your subscriptions are liberal, so you can cancel at any time for any reason
  • Review your cable bill to see if you are paying for any extra channels or unnecessary equipment and call the company to cancel them
How can Billshark help you during this challenging time?
The legislation does not make it illegal for utility providers to cut off service to people or companies who can’t pay their bills.  Therefore, it’s more important than ever to make sure you are getting fair prices. Billshark can take a look at your bills for free and identify where you might be overpaying.  We can also call and negotiate better prices and even help cancel your subscriptions. In this time of need, everyone can all use all the help they can get and we are here for you.

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