DALLAS, TEXAS (KDAF) – The coronavirus has thrown many families into uncertain waters when it comes to making ends meet. For those who have lost their job or have been furloughed, the income may have stopped but the bills, rent or mortgage payments haven’t.
If anything, the pandemic has caused many people to realize they need a plan for now and in the future. Peter Dunn, aka Pete The Planner, who is CEO of Your Money Line, has a few tips on how to recession-proof your finances, what to do if you’ve found yourself unemployed, and when to expect stimulus checks.
First, what about those stimulus checks?
Dunn says that if you’re eligible and you have a bank account on file with the IRS, you should get a deposit sometime around April 15. If you’re waiting for a paper check, it could be up to 20 weeks.
If those checks either aren’t enough or won’t get here in time, there are still options.
Things that typically weren’t negotiable may now have some wiggle room. Dunn’s first financial priority is the basics. He says “make sure you have an efficient food plan for your family. That’s my No. 1 financial priority for everyone.”
Beyond that, things like credit cards, student loans and even mortgages and utilities may have flexibility. If you’ve lost your job, Dunn says the first calls you should make are to your landlord or mortgage bank and tell them what’s going on. Afterward, call your utilities and others to see what can be worked out regarding bills.
Losing your job and calling up strangers to tell them about it can be daunting. Dunn says there’s no shame in it, though.
“Don’t be embarrassed, don’t have shame, you’ve done nothing wrong to lose your job during this time,” he said.
According to Dunn, open communication and coming together is how to get through this crisis.