Across the country, states are beginning to opt-out of the federal unemployment benefits that have been helping families nationwide during the pandemic. In order to close the financial gap that impact many lives – specifically people of color, here are three ways to financially prepare:
Inquire with local organizations about any remaining pandemic relief benefits
Even though federal benefits may be running dry for certain states, this doesn’t mean you should rule out any benefits that may be offered from local non-profits or organizations. Do a quick online search of organizations and contact them directly. If there’s no information readily provided online – feel free to give them a call. You never know what perks or assistance may be granted to you on a case-by-case basis.
Put extra funds toward recurring bills if possible
States like Texas, Georgia and Ohio will be ceasing $300 payouts very soon, while the federal program will cease altogether in September of this year. Be sure to stay up to date with changes related to your specific state. To best plan and avoid getting behind on overhead expenses such as rent or utility bills – be sure to pay a bit extra to supplement for the coming months. This way, you can get a head start as your monthly income may be impacted. This is also a good time to contact utility companies to verify if ant late fees will be reinstated. Remain as educated as possible so these things won’t surprise you or your pockets.
Increase your asking rate if you’re seeking employment
While the job market has increased, unfortunately the hourly/salary rates have not across all companies. If you’re seeking part-time or full-time employment, please don’t be afraid to counter any offers awarded to you. Not only should you base this off of your normal expenses, but your personal savings goals as well. Create a spreadsheet that outlines your monthly expenses plus the amount you wish to save per pay period. During interviews, ask the potential employer about how they plan to handle employee benefits post-pandemic. Flexible hours, remote work, childcare assistance and any incentive opportunities are just a few examples. You want to ensure the company you’re working for can provide you with the same level (or more) of benefits as you contribute to the overall success of their organization.
As families continue to recover worldwide, give yourself grace for getting ahead of the curve. Remain diligent in your financial journey and stay the course.