With most of American business shut down and millions of people out of work, while small business owners are suffering, we need a new plan.
First of all, remember good stewardship and budgeting. Think and plan for what you need, not what you want. Now, you may need to get stricter with where your money is going and what you are going to do about it. Here are some tried and true tips to help families and small business.
- Make sure your main life support means are in place: Food, shelter, utilities and transportation. These are your priority; think needs not wants!
- Cut all unnecessary spending. Look over your budget, look over your bills, cut out any waste. Just keep what you need, food, shelter, utilities, transportation.
- Check on your emergency fund. Make sure you have enough to last you through May and or the Summer. You can shore it up by using your stimulus check for the fund.
- If you are on a budget, keep at it. If you are not on a budget, that is your first priority. Help is here: https://biblicalstewardship.net/how-to-make-a-family-budget/ and https://biblicalstewardship.net/budgeting-ideas/
- If enough money is coming in, then keep paying your bills on time, especially your mortgage. Do not skip thinking you have a free pass during a global crisis, as your credit rating will suffer.
- If you do not have enough money coming in to pay your mortgage or essential bills, triage what is essential then contact your lenders for options. Most of the big banks and mortgage companies are starting to have plans for people affected by the corona virus.
- If you cannot pay your rent, you can usually negotiate. It is cheaper for them to help you through than turn over your apartment. If they will not negotiate, see if you can move where it is cheaper, or get a roommate (be discerning).
- Do not use credit cards, this is not a time to think that is okay, unless it is an actual emergency. https://biblicalstewardship.net/2020/01/15/how-to-handle-credit-cards/
- If you have a credit card or any bills you can’t afford; renegotiate. Credit card companies can temporarily reduce your payment and interest rates. And, stop using the credit cards!
- Overwhelmed with Debt? We can help you with a debt management plan.
- If you qualify for the stimulus package, use it wisely, not foolishly. No one knows how long this epidemic will be in play, it could stop at the end of May or go through the summer. Be prepared!
- Do not cash out your retirement plans or 401 K; rather roll them over to a secure plan that will not lose your money, like an Index Fund. We can help you with that!
- If money is tight, pay the minimum on bills, normally I tell people never pay the minimum; however, this is just during a crisis.
- Have a big car payment, see if you can renegotiate the loan. If not, get rid of it (sell it, return a lease) and get a reliable used car like a Toyota or Honda. https://biblicalstewardship.net/2017/01/05/car-buying-tips-from-the-top-car-guys/
- If you are out of work as a W-2 employee, you may be entitled to unemployment insurance. This is not welfare; rather, you paid for it, so take it. https://www.usa.gov/unemployment
- If you have a small business, go to your business bank (not personal bank) and file for the CARES Act, for payroll tax deferment and other possible grants. https://www.sbc.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/2/9/29fc1ae7-879a-4de0-97d5-ab0a0cb558c8/1BC9E5AB74965E686FC6EBC019EC358F.the-small-business-owner-s-guide-to-the-cares-act-final-.pdf
Here are the ‘Nevers:’
- Never cash out a retirement fund! Rather, roll it over. We can help you do that.
- Never get a payday Loan; the interest rate is loan shark territory and it is very hard to get out of it.
- Do not get any loan, especially on a car or house, unless you have to avoid bankruptcy or foreclosure. In any case, ask an expert, we are here for you.
- Business owners do not get into the trap of an SBA loan; they have too many regulations and usually are more harmful than helpful. Check with your CPA.
- Still do not have enough money coming in? Get a part time job; many companies are hiring. We are hiring, and you can work from home.
- Doing well? Then, consider helping others!
For help with debt and rolling over 401k’s to a secure retirement fund with tax advantages, that will not lose your money, give us a shout, we will help you. firstname.lastname@example.org