finances

How to Handle Lost Income During COVID-19

If you are one of the millions of Americans affected by the novel coronavirus, then you’ve likely felt a large impact on your finances.

The restrictions brought about by the current pandemic have made many businesses unable to operate. As a result, many people are out of work or working reduced hours.

According to Console and Associates, P.C., employers are refusing to compensate their employees. Should this be the case, you may need to sue your employer for unpaid wages.

However, most situations are not this drastic. Instead, you’re likely facing reduced hours. This is still incredibly challenging, especially if money was already tight.

Source:hindustantimes.com

Fortunately, there re several ways to make up for lost income during COVID-19. We’ll go over a few useful suggestions for this below.

Reduce Expenses

A good starting point is to reduce unnecessary expenses.

When it comes to fitting a budget, you must control your cash flow. This requires adjusting either where your money goes or how much goes in. The easier choice is to change how much you’re spending each month.

Many things you pay for likely aren’t essential. Your necessary expenses include things like rent, utilities, and groceries. Anything else isn’t required for survival.

Expenses that aren’t essential can be considered luxuries. This includes costs like cable, frequent takeout, and new clothes. Chances are, you’re likely paying for several extra things each month that can quickly add up to hundreds or even thousands.

While luxuries certainly add enjoyment to your life, they are expensive and serve as a good elimination if you’re struggling to make ends meet. Take some time and look at where your funds go to see if there’s anything you can comfortably cut.

File for Unemployment

If you are unable to find work, you should file for unemployment.

This is arguably the most important tip here because the government is an excellent source of assistance right now. Typically, filing for unemployment is fairly difficult and many are rejected.

However, coronavirus has greatly shifted things and now most Americans are eligible for unemployment due to relaxed requirements. Even better, the money provided during the current pandemic may be higher than what you would’ve earned normally.

If you’re eligible for unemployment, you’ll receive the standard state amount and up to $600 because of COVID-19 every week. Across a whole month, unemployment benefits are significant and can easily cover all of your expenses.

One thing that’s important to note is that how much you receive will depend on how much you work. You can still receive unemployment while working reduced hours, but you will receive less in unemployment.

Considering this, you should take advantage of unemployment to help you through coronavirus for as long as it lasts.

Consider Freelance Work

Source:jamiemillerrecruitment.com

Another good choice is to consider freelance work for extra income.

While your regular job may no longer be available, that doesn’t mean you can’t do other work. In particular, you can work from home by doing freelance projects.

If you have a valuable skill like programming, graphic design, writing, or marketing, thousands of businesses and clients online need good work done. You can complete projects for them and earn money while not being directly employed for them.

You can think of freelancing as similar to selling a product to someone, except in this case you’re selling your services. It doesn’t have a formal process to initiate and anyone can get started!

Something to keep in mind is that freelancing is not necessarily easy money. It requires hard work, commitment, and discipline to complete projects without oversight. If you can manage it, you’ll have a nice source of extra income during the pandemic.

Ask for Creditor Assistance

Source:matrix-support.com

You can also ask your creditors and lenders for payment assistance.

One silver lining to coronavirus is that many financial institutions are becoming more understanding about payments. The biggest indicator of this was the federal tax filing deadline being pushed back by three months.

Other businesses are following suit. This includes credit card companies, mortgage companies, and student loan providers.

While some companies are automatically offering assistance in the form of eliminating late fees and reducing minimum payments, you may not be benefiting from this. You should reach out to your creditors and let them know your situation.

Realistically, most lenders will be understanding because COVID-19 is unprecedented. It has a severe financial impact on everyone and it’s unreasonable for creditors to expect prompt payment with all things considered.

When you speak to them on a personal level, they may be able to help you out. You may be able to refinance a mortgage or pause credit card and student loan payments.

Seek External Help

A final suggestion is to not be afraid of seeking external help.

Many people are proud and don’t feel good about asking others for money. Unfortunately, times are dire and without easy ways to make money, you may have less flexibility than you’d like.

While you may not be financially flush, plenty of others are thriving. In particular, several relief funds have been created to help specific groups like small businesses and artists.

While federal and community relief are two good options, you should also look locally. Specifically, you should reach out to friends and family members that you know can help.

You might be surprised by the generosity of others. Considering that nobody has experienced a pandemic like what we’re seeing today, it’s a way to come closer despite currently needing social distance.

Closing Thoughts

Source:binomialconsulting.com

Because coronavirus has halted many businesses, you may find yourself working reduced hours or none at all. This is surely terrifying because you have bills to pay and finding a new job isn’t easy right now.

With this in mind, there are a few things you can do about lost income. You can reduce your expenses, file for unemployment, consider freelance work, ask for creditor assistance, and seek external help.

Ideally, you’ll take advantage of multiple financial strategies. While your options for work are limited, you can still survive during COVID-19 by being resourceful.

Best Finance Options For Your Business in 2020

There are a lot of factors that can determine what type of finance is best for your business. Things like the age of the company and the reason that cash is needed all come into play. When you are thinking of getting financing for your business, consider these points, and you will surely choose the right way to get the capital you need.

Debt Financing

Image source: entrepreneur.com

One of the most common ways to get financing for your business is to take out debt. Debt financing includes loans, credit cards, and even purchase order financing. Getting cash for your business through debt financing can be significant in any stage of business. If you are starting a new company entirely, you can take out a business loan to get lots of capital for your business. If you have been in business for several years, you can likely get approved for purchase order financing.

Cash Loans

Cash loans are a great way to finance your business. You can opt to take out cash loans in your name or under your business. If you have a newer company, this may be your best option, as you likely have established some credit history while your business is still young. Cash loans can be obtained in any amount and are easy to apply for. You can acquire these loans from your bank, a credit union, or a lender online through MoneyMeFinance. Check out all your options, apply, and then use the cash to help your business!

Equity Financing

Image source: medium.com

The first type of equity financing is to offer public stock in your business. Companies that can provide public stock are typically quite large and can reach investors and capital from all over the world. The company would have to become publically traded and cover all the rules and regulations that come as part of being a public company. However, you can gain the right amount of cash to help finance your business in doing this.

Private stock can also be offered as a way to gain capital. With an individual stock, a small amount of stock is issued to specific investors. The stock is not traded on a day to day basis, as with public stock; however, both public and private equity financing means that investors own a portion of the business. They will have voting rights and a say in how the company is run in exchange for their capital.

Angel investors are another form of equity financing that may work for your business. Angel investors are a group or individual who offers to give your business cash on their own terms. This is an excellent idea for new businesses that need money to help move forward and grow. Angel investors often have a personal connection or reason to give cash to a specific business.

Financial Partner

If you do not want to consider short term loans or stock options, you may want to finance your business through a financial partner. Look for a partner who has some experience in your business field or personal interest in you. This person can give you capital, or they may want a say in how the business operates. Be sure to set clear lines before you begin working together! You may even want to interview a few financial partners, getting referrals through your CPA or bank, to make sure you find a good match.

Savings

Image source: medium.com

One of the easiest ways to finance your business is to save cash, using your own money to make your dream of having a company come true. Of course, this is an ideal scenario as it is conservative, safe, and ensures that you are only dependent on yourself. It can take quite a while to save the money that you need and, depending on the type of business you are planning to open. It may be years before you are financially ready. However, some entrepreneurs will take money out of their homes (using a home equity line of credit) or their retirement funds to get access to cash faster. While saving money to open a business is great, keep in mind that taking equity out of your home can be a little riskier. Yes, the cash is technically yours, but you may stand to lose your home if the business fails.

Friends and Family

Many people looking to finance business may turn to family and friends for financial assistance. This can be a great option as many people will happily help someone they know pursue their dream. However, it would be best if you always looked to family and friends with caution. Keep in mind that sometimes money can complicate personal relationships. Be sure to clarify if the money your friends and family give you is a loan or if they are giving you the cash with no strings attached. It would help if you even went so far as putting the terms of the agreement in writing, so there is no confusion later on. If this is a financial option that you are comfortable with, definitely take advantage of the generosity of your family and friends to move your business plan forward!

Government Loans

Image source; pymnts.com

You may want to look into government-funded loans for specific groups of business owners. There are loans for small businesses, minority groups, and also loans designed to promote business in specific areas of commerce. You may qualify for one of these loans and be able to secure the cash you need for your business. While many government-sponsored loans will have lower interest rates, they sometimes have strict requirements. You may need to show purchase receipts, income statements through the course of the loan term. However, it can be worth the hassle to get the financial assistance that your business needs!

As you can see, there are many ways to finance your business. Which option you choose will depend on your financial situation, the business you are operating, and how much money you truly need. Consider all your options, and you will surely find the best way to finance your business!

How to Turn Your Life Around: Simple Steps

There are ways to turn your life around if you feel it’s going nowhere. Small steps are required, but the end goal is ultimately within sight.

There are many people out there that feel as their lives are taking a turn for the worse. Many factors play a huge role in such thinking such as not having a job, not having a partner, not having the house you’ve always wanted, not being loved, struggling with losing a loved one, etc.

And while these aren’t all of them, there are far more steps to take to combat them.

So, not to dwell too much on it, here are some of the simple steps to take and turn your life around.

1. Read More

Source:bookoblivion.com

Reading keeps our mind occupied, and there is no better cure for negative thinking than to not think about it.

Reading not only helps you in this way, but it also relaxes you and puts you in a state of calmness. Our brain activity is significantly sharpened when we read.

Furthermore, reading increases your vocabulary, critical thinking, educates you, and helps shed some light on topics you’ve never before heard.

Reading is very fun and there are books out there specifically written for your struggles.

2. Define Your Goals

Source:butchbellah.com

Every person needs some sort of “drive” in their life. This drive could be many things such as goals or achievements. If you feel as you’re life is in a stalemate, then you need to sit down for a moment and think about it.

Think about the things that are holding you down, the things that need improving, the things you want in life, and the things that make you happy.

This doesn’t have to be anything materialistic, but more in the sense of goals and achievements. If you want to lose weight, then start exercising more until you achieve that goal. If you want to learn something new, start learning it until you’ve mastered it.

The main thing is to define what your goals and achievements are, so you can start taking them off your list.

3. Reshape Relationships

Source:appreciategoods.com

Every person has a relationship with another person. Many of you think that this is referred to as a romantic relationship, but any friendship you have is considered some sort of relationship.

So for the sake of it, think of more like friendships than life partners. But regardless of which, you need to start reshaping them. First off, do you think you should spend more time with friends, family, and even your girlfriend/boyfriend? If so, then start making changes and start socializing more.

If you think that someone is negatively impacting your life, then you need to ditch that person to ultimately benefit yourself.

4. Focus On Your Spiritual Side

Source:enerchimeditations.com

Meditation, yoga, and various teachings and practices are excellent for bringing peace of mind and body.

One way to turn your life around is to focus solely on yourself; to better yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

One way to achieve all three is to take the helping hand that meditation offers. While we could sit here and talk hours about what meditation can offer a person, the wiser way would be for you to discover it yourself.

If you feel as you’re lost and in need of guidance, then enerchimeditations.com is an excellent and resourceful place where you can read short articles and even take courses on the teachings.

5. Save More

Source:revenuesandprofits.com

Many people feel as their life is hitting a wall because they are in a poor financial situation. Truthfully speaking, finances have a huge impact on a person’s wellbeing.

If we are in a good financial situation, we wouldn’t worry about a thing. Sure, things could be better, but it beats having to worry about making it to the end of the month.

It takes an effort to manage your finances. Heck, it even takes knowledge and skill to do it. But the simplest thing you can do to manage your finances is to start saving more.

You might feel as there is nothing to save on, but is that really true? You need to make a list of where your money goes. Do you pay any bills, monthly rates, food, gas, etc?

When you make the list, see how much of your finances go into meaningless things. When you make the calculation, you’ll notice how much of your monthly income is effective, wasted on nothing. Instead of continuing the same way, why not save your money instead?

6. Change Things With Work

Source:elitedaily.com

You might be in a dire need of workplace change. This is absolutely acceptable for a person to feel. Not everyone is lucky enough to work in a good company, be surrounded by wonderful coworkers, and have the best boss in the world.

But, sadly, there are many more that feel this way than those that don’t.

So, think about what can you do to change things up? The clear and obvious thinking would be to seek other job opportunities or look to quit and job a better company.

These, in some cases, are the only changes you can make. Unless you can somehow impact your boss on certain things, quitting is the best thing to do. Not only will it liberate you from having to work in a place that you don’t enjoy at all, but you’ll find a better opportunity and be appreciated more in some other company.

7. Help Others

Source:mentalfloss.com

Being humanitarian by helping those in need can make your life very enjoyable. Who doesn’t want to do good for those who are less fortunate than us?

It goes without saying that our lives might not be that bad; it could only be us thinking that way for no good reason.

If we simply put ourselves in the shoes of those less fortunate, we will see what real struggle really looks like. This can open our eyes and change our perspective and be revolutionary for ourselves.

Lending a helping hand to a homeless person, a family in need, or even an old granny that struggles to cross the street, will help turn our life around and put us in a happy place.

 

7 Important Things You Need To Know About Bankruptcy

Uttering the word “bankruptcy” was once taboo. Anyone that found themselves over their head in debt without any way out would only consider such an option in total secrecy. However, as more people find their way deeper in debt the stigmatism associated with these words is quickly evaporating.

So, if you find that you are over your head financially and cannot see a way out, you should consider taking the help of professionals from accrediteddebtrelief.com as they might be able to find a way that is better than filing for bankruptcy. However, if you are sure to file for bankruptcy, you should also know that you will suffer some backlash for years and your credit will be affected badly. Here are some things you should consider before filing for bankruptcy.

1. There Is More Than One Bankruptcy

There are at least two different types of bankruptcies for individuals. Chapter 7 allows an individual to completely liquidate their assets and then use the money received to pay off their creditors. In Chapter 7, some physical assets you own can be excluded from the process (car, home, and personal possessions). In Chapter 13, your debt is reorganized with the courts help so you can pay off most of it.

2.  It’s A Long Process

img source: wordpress.com

Going through bankruptcy proceedings is not as cut and dry as it seems. It is not like you will file and the next day and it’s all over. Expect to spend a minimum of four months going through the entire process if you are filing for Chapter 7. Chapters 11 and 13 could easily take years before it is all over.

3. Your Finances Are Opened Up For Public Scrutiny

Usually, when people are in serious debt, they try to hide their personal financial situation. When you file for bankruptcy though, get ready to go public. Your financial record will be exposed to the public listing all of your debts, assets, expenses, and income – mistakes and all. You will be asked probing questions in front of creditors, which can be very embarrassing.

4. Some Debts Cannot Be Discharged

img source: entrepreneur.com

When filing for Chapter 7, some debts like credit cards, repossessions, medical bills, and unpaid rent may be discharged, but there are some debts that cannot. If it is revealed that you made excessive use of your credit just prior to filing bankruptcy, creditors can challenge the request to eliminate them. You may not be able to get rid of some debts and end up footing the bill for them anyway.

5. It’s A Complicated Process

Filing for bankruptcy is not easy. You will be required to fill out many confusing and difficult forms, that contain complex questions in relation to your finances. It is not a process that can be rushed so make sure you have adequate time to understand and fill everything out honestly and as accurately as possible. This is why most people opt to use a bankruptcy attorney to walk them through the process.

6. It Will Affect Your Credit Score

While there are many factors that go into determining your credit score, expect that you will get at least some negative impact. On average, a person’s score could expect to drop as much as 200 points, which could be very damaging. This could kick you off a good credit rating for several years after you file.

7. It Is Not Cheap

img source: picdn.net

The cost of filing for bankruptcy can vary depending on individual circumstances, but it will cost you. Some people can save on bankruptcy fees by filing all the forms themselves, but even then, there are expensive filing fees that need to be covered. If you hire an attorney to do much of the grunt work for you, then expect to pay anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on how much work is involved.

Filing for bankruptcy is one way, but it comes with many challenges. Before you file, make sure you fully understand everything that is involved so you can navigate safely through the complex process.