There is a good chance that sometime in late March, you were sent home from work and told not to come back until further notice. As of this time, you have yet to receive further notice. This is the reality for thousands in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. While those states are on the mend, new hotspots in key Southern states such as Texas are just starting to feel the pain.
The lucky ones have been receiving unemployment benefits the whole time, including a $600 per week bonus from the federal relief package. Unfortunately, those benefits have run out. And we are on our own again looking for ways to keep things running smoothly with very little by way of unemployment benefits. Here are some of the resources proven to help in times of crisis:
Get a Loan
For many the goal is to be debt free. I get it. In a perfect world, that might be reasonable. But the world we live in right now is far from perfect. On top of the uncertain future of unemployment benefits, we are dealing with new expenses that were never a part of the plan.
Compounding the problem is the difficulty of finding good lending options in places like rural Texas. Fortunately, loan places in Raymondville TX. and similar areas do exist and can provide exactly the short-term relief you need to keep all the balls you are juggling from crashing to the ground.
Those unexpected expenses might include a new computer or computers for the kids to do remote learning. You will probably need another computer with a better webcam for all those Zoom meetings. If you thought working from home was tough, think about your kids doing school from home without the benefits of sports, band, and all the extracurricular activities that make school so memorable. Those activities have to be replace with something. And that something is going to cost you some money.
Get a Gig
Before we started calling it the gig economy, we used to just call it a side-hustle. It encompasses all those little things you do when your real job doesn’t pay for everything. For far too many, the gig is the only job they have.
Despite Uber and Lyft threatening to pull out of California do to a law that would reclassify drivers as employees, those companies are still going strong in other states. If you can drive and own a car, you can earn pretty good side money for plugging the gaps. There is a constant need for delivery drivers and Instacart shoppers.
These may not be the jobs that inspired you to get your college degree. But they are available and plentiful. You don’t have to be a driver to get involved with the gig economy. If you have a good turn of phrase, you can find freelance writing work.
Telemarketing has become a dirty word. But it is the easiest field to enter without prior experience. And if you prove to be competent, you can earn enough money that will make you think twice about ever going back to your old job. Whether you turn that family room into a daycare or utilize that Yamaha keyboard collecting dust in the corner for piano lessons, there are opportunities that can help you get through this crisis.
No one wants to be forced to downsize. But there are a lot of upsides to downsizing. You may well have been living comfortably within your budget before the crisis hit. A few jobless months later, and that $2,000 rent payment is getting harder and harder to meet.
It might be time to start looking around at the $1,500 range for the next year or two. What you gain is a little more headroom to survive the unexpected as well as a chance to put a little back for an even rainier day.
It is almost impossible to downsize your space without also downsizing your stuff. In these times of social distancing, yard sales are out. That said, digital yard sales might be just the thing. Even a budget smartphone has a more than sufficient camera for photographing your wares.
One day, congress will resolve their issues and start issuing more unemployment benefits. In the meantime, get a loan, get a gig, and get ready to downsize.