Preparing for Government Relief
Last month, a federal relief package was passed in an attempt to help those who are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic. As the time of disbursement gets closer, we want to provide you with some tips for preparing and spending the aid you may receive. While you’re waiting for that money to come in, it’s best to prepare a plan so that you can use that income to help get you and your family though this time.
If you haven’t gone through your financial situation, now is the time. Take time to account for your income and expenses. Take a look at your savings and other accounts. Be aware of your entire financial situation so that you can put together a plan.
Take a look at your budget and spending. Make notes of spending habits that may have changed since the stay-at-home order was put in place. Miscellaneous spending may have decreased but your food spending may have gone up. Being aware of changes like this can help you see where your money is going.
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”, Benjamin Franklin. It may be easy to look at this government relief as extra income, but if you fail to put together a plan for this money, it may come back to haunt you.
If You Lost Your Job
This pandemic has affected the entire economy. Many people are now without jobs and stable income. This relief package should provide some sort of boost to your finances, but it could be a few weeks before that money hits your account.
If you find that you’ll need some financial support sooner rather than later, take advantage of all the resource that are available. The first thing should be to call your creditors and explain your situation. Many creditors are willing to work through payment solutions with you including payment deferrals.
Consider filing for unemployment. If you are eligible and in need of assistance this could provide a bit of income until your government relief arrives. Calling 211 should connect you with local health and social service organizations to help you figure things out.
Once you receive the support focus on the necessities. Things like housing, food, and basic needs should be your first priority. Making sure essential bills are paid will help ease the stress caused by a lack of income.
If the government relief and unemployment is not enough, you may need to consider using credit cards or a loan. Be aware of terms, limits and interest rates. Remember that these are the rainy days and emergency times you have been preparing and saving for. It is ok to use emergency funds during this time.
If You Still Have Income
Some members may still be working and receiving income, and this government relief may be a supplement to them. If that is your situation, consider putting this money aside in an emergency fund or a type of savings account.
If you do not have an emergency fund, this is the perfect opportunity to establish one. Because we are unsure of how long the affects from this may last, many of us may end up needing to use emergency money. Although you may not need the money now, you may need it in the future.
Putting your money into a savings account or an account that yields interest would be the smartest move if you are not in immediate need of the funds. While this may not be your rainy day, having that money ready when you need it will always prove to be a smart decision.
Where Will Funds Go?
If your tax refund or social security deposit is sent to Eagle, chances are your stimulus check will go to the same account. Eagle Federal members will not receive a confirmation email from us for stimulus checks. We have your information and if we receive your funds, you will see it in your account online, on the mobile app, or you can call and confirm with us. You can access your funds using your debit card if funds are deposited to your Eagle checking account. If you receive your stimulus check at another institution and wish to move it, ask them if they will waive wire fees or use our free ECM payment to move funds.
Many members will qualify and receive some type of relief from the government. Having a plan for that income will help keep you and your family in the best financial situation possible. Stay safe.