Independent, low-income and hourly workers are among those who have been hit the hardest by the recession brought on by the coronavirus.
This is because freelancers and other self-employed people don’t usually qualify for unemployment benefits, which are specific to the state and company you work for.
What Happens if You Can’t Pay for Housing on Time?
With more than 18 million people spending half of their income in housing costs, missing a paycheck can mean they aren’t able to pay rent. In this situation, you should contact your landlord to see if they will allow you to delay payments considering the circumstances.
Eviction moratoriums are going into place in many cities, including Seattle, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, New York, Massachusetts, Boston and more.
If a moratorium doesn’t exist where you live, you can contact your local city council member or local assembly member to get a referral to a local tenant rights organization.
They may be able to help you collect evidence and information to show you are acting in good faith, even if you aren’t able to pay for your rent at the moment.
How Much Should You Try to Save, and How?
One important factor in weathering the storm ahead is to save what money you can. Look at your existing budget and decide what you really need, and what you can be doing without.
The 50/30/20 saving method can come in handy:
- 20% should go to your debt and savings
- 30% should pay for your wants, such as dining out—but the lower the percentage, the better
- 50% should pay for your needs, like rent and food
Be Flexible and Source Other Ways to Find Income
Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet, told Buzzfeed News that being flexible about new employment and opportunities could be helpful.
“I would really encourage people to see if they are flexible enough to do different work,” said Palmer. “Demand for some things is really dropping but demand for others is popping up.”
For example, as restaurants are being forced to close their sit-in dining, demand has risen for delivery drivers as they’re still open for takeout, and people in lockdown are able to use delivery apps.
Another job sector facing issues is independent workers, and Rafael Espinal, president of the Freelancers Union, said that a lot of informal organizing has been taking place.
“What I’ve been telling independent workers to do is to organize,” said Espinal. “This is the biggest financial crisis that freelancers are facing in modern history and there’s no clear plan as to what they are going to do to help independent workers.”
What if You Owe Money This Tax Season?
The deadline to file your taxes has moved from April 15 to July 15, which can provide a bit of breathing room for some, but what if you owe a fairly large tax bill?
One thing you can do is consider filing a 9465-form along with your tax return so you can apply for an installment plan.