As the old adage goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” In essence, this wisdom encourages all who hear it to buckle down and dig in their heels rather than run away from harsh circumstances. Of course, the current global health crisis has created unprecedented and challenging times for many. A recent New York Times article shared that jobless claims in the United States have topped six million, the highest unemployment rate in decades. Clearly, money is going to be tight for many people in the coming months. Here are five money moves you can make during tough times.
Learn a new skill
If you’ve lost your job and are trying to find work, it may be worthwhile to learn a new skill. Even if you still have your job, learning something new can help make you more marketable and it’s likely that you still have a lot of time on your hands since many Americans are under self-quarantine. Getting your Advanced Cardiac Life support certification is one of many skills worth learning; if you interface with others during your typical workday, knowing how to save a life it can be a major selling point on your resume. From child care to the service industry, it’s important that members of the workforce have an ACLs certification. You can learn about and complete your ACLS certification online, making it easier than ever to learn a new skill through an online course.
Search for unclaimed money
Did you know that you might be owed money that you didn’t know about? Searching for unclaimed money is a great way to get a small bonus during these tough times. Whether you were owed something in a class-action lawsuit but were never paid or have money from a will you never received, it’s possible that money is being held for you by the government. Especially if you’ve moved around a lot and changed addresses, you should search for unclaimed money online. A website like Go Look Up makes this kind of searching easy with a simple to use, powerful database that cross-references public records with your personal information.
Tighten up your budget
One way to stretch your money is to make sure that you’re budgeting appropriately. If you have a budget of necessities and wants, it’s much easier to make smart purchases. Sure, you might be tempted to buy a gallon of ice cream as a coping mechanism with money being tight, but investing in pantry staples is a much smarter decision. Creating a better budget can also help you see where you could potentially cut back. For example, you might want to suspend any gym memberships if your gym has shut down and replace those workouts with some fitness channels on YouTube.
Sell unwanted things
If making a budget helps you see your financial picture more clearly, you may realize that you don’t have enough income for this month. Thankfully, it’s still possible to sell unwanted things on websites like eBay. Take a look at your bookshelves and around the house to see if you have any books, DVDs, video games, or other items that you’re no longer using. Take this opportunity to organize the house and make a few sales. That guitar amp even a self-quarantine hasn’t gotten you to use could be cash to cover groceries or your electric bill.
File for unemployment if you’ve lost your job
It’s important to note that, especially in tough times like these, filing for unemployment is not something you should be ashamed of. These sorts of social service programs exist for a reason. Plus, thanks to recent legislation that was passed, unemployment benefits may help you even more than they used to.