BY JULIA ANDERSON
Many people are struggling, right now, to come up with cash to pay for everyday items: food and gas for instance. It can be easy to make money moves today that you end up regretting down the road. Here are the best and worst ways to raise cash in a hurry from the American Institute of CPAs. Check out its web site 360financialliteracy.org.
Do's and Don’ts of getting cash in a hurry.
Immediately apply for unemployment benefits through your state’s Dept. of Labor. Many states are extending eligibility to people who have lost jobs because of virus closures. There’s nothing to pay back, if you qualify. Available to parents who had to stop working to care for children.
Free up cash flow. When every dollar counts, evale ALL your spending habits and all your monthly bills. What can you get rid of? Credit card fees, cable fees, subscriptions. Put your student loans in forbearance (on hold). Talk to your landlord about rent reductions, your bank about mortgage payment. PRO: Frees up cash, immediately
Sell things: Something valuable around the house, jewelry, a second car. CON: You may have regrets, later. If you sell stock, you might pay capital gains taxes, later.
Check with your community: Many religious groups and foundations maintain funds to help those in need. Check to see if you qualify.
Get a side gig. A job is better than no job!!! Despite the closures and layoffs, some employers are HIRING!! --- Grocery stores, delivery companies, distribution warehouses and call centers for essential businesses such as banks. Become a shopper for a grocery delivery service. Be Creative and don’t whine about the $12 an hour. You might be surprised.
Borrow from family and friends. This is tricky. Put the agreement in writing to ensure that you’re all on the same page about payback terms. Move into your parents’ basement.
Make a Retirement account withdrawal: This is a last resort because it jeopardizes your long-term financial future. Rules have been relaxed for these types of withdrawals due to the coronavirus. Check with your fund account management firm.
Borrow from a retirement account with your employer using a hardship withdrawal. Depending on your plan, you can sometimes get a check in hand within a day. You are borrowing from yourself with the idea you’ll pay it back. There are rules regarding withdrawal amounts, paybacks.
Get a credit card cash advance: This is the absolute worst way to get cash because it is EXPENSIVE money. --- High fees, and high interest charges.
Payday loans: Same bad deal -- High fees, high interest. You can get caught in never-ending cycle of borrowing against the future.
Stick with options that have the shortest recovery period as we all try to “flatten the coronavirus curve.” In other words, don’t dig yourself into a hole from which you CANNOT RECOVER!!!
I meet women all the time who face job and money transitions and who want to do them right. It’s about building confidence and taking charge of the future. This is your money. No one cares more than you do!
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