It's Labor Day in the U.S., and this weekend federal unemployment benefits ended.
So...what should you do, if you were relying on the extra $300 each week?
If you've been saving a little bit of money from your unemployment benefits, this is the time to start it.
I've heard from clients who say they don't like touching their savings, and yet...this is what savings are for, and when you start to make more money, then you can always replenish it again.
Money is meant to circulate, not to keep in the bank account, earning 1% or less in interest.
If you need it, please use it.
Now, what if you don't have savings?
First, don't panic. Take a deep breath in for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts, release for 8 counts. If you don't feel some relief, do it again. You may need to do it a 3rd time.
Then, call up all of your creditors, including landlords, utility companies, car loan lenders, etc. Let them know your circumstances and see what they can do to give you a break for a few months or a discount.
Any little bit will help. Add up all of the savings and discounts and see if that will help tide you over for the next couple of months.
Next, what can you do to bring in any money?
Get on fiverr, upwork, social media or just talk to friends and family and offer anything you know you can do well.
Are you a good writer? Offer to write emails, copy, social media posts, or ads. Edit someone else's writing or teach writing - poetry, journaling or just some kind of creative outlet.
There are so many things that require a good writer these days.
Are you a musician? Offer to give lessons, busk online (I'm always looking to hear live music performances) or write a piece of music to someone's YouTube video.
Are you an artist? Offer to teach painting (I took a class through my alma mater, and it was so relaxing. I'm looking to take another one soon!) or offer custom pieces, as gifts, inspiration or decor.
Are you good with social media? Offer lessons or help with editing and uploading reels or IG Story.
Also, look for grants in your city, state, country. Find ones that are specific to you and what you do. For example, at the beginning of the pandemic, I told you on this blog about a grant for women artists in their 40s. That's pretty specific! The likelihood of you qualifying for a specific grant vs a more general one is greater.
This page has a few grants that I know many of you would qualify for. There's a $10K grant for those in the Entertainment & Film, Music, Sports, Journalism, STEM and Hospitality industries. There's also a $5K and $10 one for black women and nonbinary individuals, as well as a startup grant for undocumented immigrants or those with limited English proficiency, green card holders, and individuals who have been granted DACA or TPS status. Hello Alice is also a great resource for grants for small business owners.
Finally, if you still need a bit of money, and this may be controversial, but you may need to use your credit cards or take a loan. Yes, I know it's so strange to hear a financial coach say that, and in normal circumstances, I wouldn't say that. However, I believe in your ability to make more and pay them off later, and if you believe in that ability as well, then there's nothing wrong with using them as capital, as a way to help yourself with needs (not wants), so that you can keep putting food on the table and the electricity on, while we're in the dog days of Summer.
Have any questions? Please put in your comments below. I'm happy to answer anything! I'm also going to go live in my FREE Facebook community each Friday to answer your questions, so join me live to ask your questions there!