With many employers forced to cut hours or lay off employees as a result of COVID-19, many people are feeling uncertain about how they’re going to make ends meet. Here are seven tips to help you manage your finances through a challenging time.
Assess your current financial situation
One of the first things to do after getting laid off is take a look at your budget. Evaluate where your money is going, trim the non-essentials, and prioritize your bills if you can’t cover everything. Once you have a sense of the bigger picture, project your cash flow over the next few months to see how long you can continue on your present course. To help you get started, check out our budgeting tool.
Look for alternate income sources
Although finding a new job may be difficult in this current climate, there are other ways you can earn extra cash. Do you have items around your house you can sell? Are there creative side projects like woodworking or painting you enjoy doing while also giving you a possible extra income source? Just be sure to review Canada’s EI Working While on Claim guidelines to make sure this won’t affect your benefits, and speak with an EI professional if you have any questions.
See what benefits are available
With COVID-19 leaving many Canadians facing financial hardship, there are several benefits and assistance programs available. A few options include Employment Insurance Benefits for people who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for employees who have stopped working as a result of COVID-19.
The sooner your creditors know about your financial situation, the more they can do to help. Talking to them right away means they may be able to offer temporary relief until you get back on your feet, which will help protect your cash flow and credit score. At SCU, our Credit Relief Program allows you to defer mortgage and loan payments, and increase your line of credit to help protect your cash flow.
Look for creative ways to save
Once you’ve taken a look at where your money is going, it’s time to look for creative ways to cut down costs. Can you cancel any online subscriptions? Reduce your grocery bill by buying store brands? Although these things may seem small, they tend to add up over time. Even a daily $3 coffee costs you about $90 a month.
You’re not the only one asking these financial questions — and there are a lot of great online resources with information on topics such as budgeting, managing credit, and money management to better equip you for the future. A few good resources to start with are the Government of Canada’s financial literacy programs.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and are still unsure how you’re going to make ends meet, we’re here to help. Give us a call at 1.800.728.6440 or get in touch by filling out our contact form we’ll find a solution that’s right for you.