Should I drain my emergency savings because of coronavirus?

First off, congratulations for having an emergency fund! Approximately 25% of Americans couldn’t cover an unexpected $400 bill, let alone a month of expenses. To answer the question of whether or not you should drain your emergency fund because of coronavirus, that all depends on your situation. Do you need to drain your emergency fund?…

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3 Strategies to Stretch Your Food Dollars

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, you may have to stretch a lower income to cover regular expenses. If your income has been reduced or you have had a lot of unexpected expenses, having enough money to feed yourself and your family may be a challenge. Food is a necessity to maintain a healthy life. But…

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8 Tips for Financial Planning During an Economic Downturn

It’s difficult to create a solid financial plan when the economy is booming. Add an economic downturn and creating a financial plan can seem impossible. Here are eight tips for financial planning during a downturn that can help you stay the course. 1. Be Sure You’re Thinking Clearly It’s easy to give in to panic…

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How can I build my skills while I am unemployed?

There are lots of emerging job opportunities that require specific skills. Building those job skills is necessary to fill numerous types of good-paying jobs, especially jobs in the tech industry. But you also need a specific skillset to be an educator, healthcare worker, financial services professional, plumber, or electrician. So, to answer your question, first…

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How to Apply for SNAP Benefits

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (otherwise known as SNAP) is a state-run program. Each state has its own process for applying. You can go to your local SNAP office, or some states even allow you to apply online. If you aren’t sure, you can call the SNAP toll-free information number: 1-800-221-5689. Each state has its…

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Five Ways to Manage Financial Stress During COVID-19

Even under the best circumstances, most of us deal with financial stress in our daily lives. With the additional stress that has been placed on many individuals and families as a result of COVID-19 from job loss or changes in income, and uncertainty about the future, financial worries are even more common. Dealing with your…

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If I receive unemployment insurance, are my benefits taxable?

Unemployment benefits are taxable income. They are subject to federal and state taxes (if your state taxes income). You can choose to withhold 10% in federal taxes from your benefits by completing a W-4V and giving the form to your unemployment office. Some states automatically withhold taxes; some states do not. Go to your state’s…

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Applying for SNAP Benefits if You’re Newly Unemployed

If you’ve lost work or earnings, you may be curious about programs that you can use during this difficult time. Your first move should be to apply for unemployment insurance. This is likely the most valuable benefit, especially while the additional $600/week is available through late July 2020. Unemployment insurance often replaces only a portion…

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