Millions across the country have lost their jobs in recent months. The unemployment rate is surging because of mass-layoffs and business closures. People are sitting at home, wondering what the upcoming weeks will be like and whether they will be able to afford their bills by then.
If you’ve lost your job because of COVID-19 and you’re anxious about money, take a look at the best steps for managing your money.
Apply for Emergency Aid
The first thing that you should do when you lose your job because of COVID-19 is apply for emergency government aid. Individuals can apply for the CERB social security program and receive $500 per week for up to 16 weeks. The program is supposed to cover essentials like utility bills, groceries and housing.
Call Your Creditors
If you have a lot of debt to juggle, losing your job might send you into a panic. You don’t want to miss out on payments. What if you rack up late fees? What if your service gets cut off? You don’t want things to get any harder for you.
Start by calling your creditors. Call your bank to let them know that you’re unemployed, and you need them to be flexible about repayment. They could temporarily waive penalties, extend deadlines or defer payments to make things easier on you.
Here are some other creditors that you should call:
- Internet provider
- Phone service provider
- Insurance providers
- Hydro company
- Gas company
- The CRA
Another smart move that you can make is to get in touch with a licensed insolvency trustee. Some firms are offering their services online, with consultations and meetings conducted over the phone and through video chats. A licensed insolvency trustee can help you manage your debt and guide you through serious relief strategies like consumer proposals and personal bankruptcy. Click here to see how you can get help during the covid-19 crisis and manage all of your debt payments better.
Ask for Rent Help
Homeowners have the opportunity to defer their mortgage and property tax payments for up to six months. Renters don’t have that opportunity right now. And even with financial aid, renters still might not be able to pay their landlords in full by the end of the month. As early as January of this year, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto cost more than $2000 per month.
If you’re in this position, talk to your landlord and try to arrange a payment system that works with your new income.
Make a Budget
Now that money is tight, you need to make a personal budget to organize your financial needs and carefully track your spending. You don’t want to realize that you can’t afford to cover groceries or pay for your internet bill while you’re waiting for the next emergency aid deposit. Using this simple spreadsheet will make sure you have enough to get by until your income grows.
It’s important to remember that you’re not alone in this. So many people have lost their jobs and have had opportunities put on hold because of COVID-19. And like them, you can reach out to the right sources and get help so that you make it through this rough patch.