How to Pay the Bills If You Lose Your Job Due to COVID-19
If you lost your job over COVID-19, you’re not alone. People everywhere are facing financial burden as a result of this devastating pandemic. According to CNBC, a total of 10 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits during the last two weeks of March, and job losses have continued to rise. Thankfully, there are several financial assistance programs and part-time work opportunities available for anyone struggling to pay the bills during this difficult time. Here are some tips to help you get by.
Pursue Part-Time Work
If you think it will be a while before you can get another full-time position in your industry, consider a temporary part-time job to help pay the bills in the meantime. While the coronavirus has caused widespread job loss, Fast Company reports that the pandemic has also increased the demand for employees in certain industries, including grocery stores, pharmacies, shipping and delivery, online learning, remote communication, and childcare. You may be able to find temporary remote work in your industry using local job search sites and other online job boards. For example, if you have experience with internet marketing, you can search job boards to find clients looking for online marketing experts. You can also connect with local businesses in your area through DiscoverThurston.com.
Think about how you could use your past job experience for something new! Certain soft skills developed in your previous career, such as reading comprehension, verbal communication, interpersonal skills, and computer skills, will set you up for success as an insurance sales agent. Insurance agents enjoy remote work opportunities and flexible work arrangements, so you can easily get started from the safety of your own home.
Budget for Necessities
Building a budget can help you minimize the financial damage to you and your family while living on a reduced income. Start by making a list of your expenses and eliminating everything you don’t need right now. Fortunately, closures of restaurants, bars, entertainment sources, and shopping malls have made it easier to cut back certain unnecessary spending, but subscription services and online shopping can still put a dent in your budget.
Prioritize spending on essentials expenses such as rent, mortgage payments, groceries, and utilities. You may be able to reduce your grocery bill by reducing your meat consumption, buying generic brands, shopping local produce, and cutting back on pre-packaged foods. This is the time to be ruthless with your spending cuts.
Take Advantage of Flexible Payment Programs
Moneylenders, utility providers, and telecommunications companies across the country are offering special programs for people who are struggling to pay their bills during this difficult time. Some companies are allowing for greater payment flexibility while others are waiving late fees. If you’re having a hard time making ends meet right now, contact your landlord or mortgage lender, internet provider, local tax office, and utility company and tell them about your situation. You may be able to defer your payments until you can secure a reliable source of income.
Research Aid Organizations
You also have access to several nonprofits that provide food, basic necessities, and financial aid for people who have lost their jobs over COVID-19. From childcare services to pet food, you can find assistance in nearly any form. For example, people who have lost jobs in the restaurant and hospitality industry can take advantage of several national and state resources, including cash assistance for tipped workers and grants for restaurant employees with children. Be sure to research the emergency financial assistance programs available in your industry, and remember to check for smaller nonprofits operating in your local area.
Watching the bills pile up as you look for another job can be incredibly stressful, especially if you have a family to look after. Remember, there are resources to help you out! Take advantage of every form of assistance available to you and consider finding part-time work until you can secure another full-time position in your industry. Most importantly, remember that in time, things will get better!