COVID-19 has decimated many sectors of the U.S. economy, and while we all hope for a speedy recovery, the unfortunate reality is millions of Americans will struggle financially for the foreseeable future.
Stimulus payments, expanded unemployment benefits, government loans, and payment accommodations from lenders all have helped keep many families and businesses afloat so far. But as these programs end, millions will find their budgets stretched to the breaking point.
NerdWallet, the personal finance website, surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. adults during the first week in May to understand how COVID-19 was affecting their finances. The key findings:
More than two-thirds (69 percent) said their household income was negatively impacted by the pandemic.
A quarter of those who said they are struggling had taken money out of their emergency savings account, or were considering it.
A similar 25 percent said they were spending less on non-essentials.
“The pandemic has upended many Americans’ sense of control over their lives,” said Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet. “One way to regain a sense of control is to control what we can. Audit your current spending and see what you can cut back, especially if your routine has changed because of the pandemic.”
More Info: This blogpost from Bankrate.com explains how to negotiate fee waivers when your bank is not offering them.
Dealing with the Cash Crunch
If you’ve lost your job or been furloughed, there’s only one objective right now: Use whatever money you have to pay for the basics—food, shelter, utilities and transportation.
Assuming you’ve already cut back on spending, you need to prioritize the bills you pay to free up as much cash as possible. Your decisions should be based on the consequences of not paying on time.
READ more at: https://www.checkbook.org/delaware-valley-area/consumers-notebook/articles/Financial-Toolkit-How-to-Survive-the-COVID-19-Recession-7400