There is a lot going on, we know that. It sometimes feels like we’re living in a live action version of Chicken Little (Is the sky actually falling?)
Here at Brigit, we want to help you keep track of all your resources and take advantage of whatever is helpful.
1. Use your 401K – before you retire
Have you been diligently putting money into your 401K? You were doing all the right things but now you find yourself feeling a bit short on cash. The rules have changed for how you can access money in your 401K if you’re in financial hardship.
Read more about: Early 401K access here.
2. Save on Rent
Many states are putting in place assistance for renters. Your mileage may vary based on your state, your rent costs, and your financial situation. You should check it out especially if you’re looking at a period without income.
Read more about: Rent Relief Programs
3. Unemployment Benefits
Speaking of going a period without income, did you know that the CARES Act and some states have changed the definitions of who qualifies for unemployment and how much they can get. In some states contractors, gig workers, and even people who have had their hours reduced (but haven’t lost their jobs) are eligible for Unemployment Benefits.
We have heard (and read the news stories) that some states are having lots of trouble approving and providing for all the impacted individuals, but we’ve also heard lots of positive news and states that are improving capacity. Don’t miss out on this if you’re eligible, it’s worth the hassle.
Check out your eligibility and make sure you’re getting the benefits you deserve. Read more about: Who and how to apply for unemployment.
Important Note: Brigit Members are eligible for free extensions and a special program for fast approval if you’re waiting for Unemployment Benefits. Read about it here: Brigit Unemployment Assistance
4. FSA and HSA accounts
Your employer might have provided you the option to put money in a FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or HSA (Health Savings Account). If you put money into those accounts you can use it for medical purchases, but nowadays that can include COVID fighting gear like thermometers, fever reducers, and others. Also if you’re no longer with the same employer those balances can incur some hefty fees each month so spend them quickly.
Read more about: HSA and FSA accounts
5. Automated Savings plans
Maybe you set up an automated savings plan a while ago. Rounding up the change, or $5 a week to a separate account, or AI-powered tools that pull some money each paycheck. If those are working for you, and you’re not feeling financial stress right now, keep going! A good savings plan is key to improving your financial wellness. However, if you’re feeling pinched, now might be the time to tap into those funds. Using your emergency fund makes sense if this is an emergency. Don’t let that money sit there earning low interest if you need it today!
Did any of those help you out? Have any other ideas for overlooked resources? Have a new idea for a blog post? Let us know your thoughts [email protected]