Silver Linings of COVID-19
Over the last month, our lives have shifted as the “Stay Home, Save Lives” Executive Order has shaken up the typical everyday hustle and bustle. We’ve adjusted to at least six feet of social distancing and have seen many businesses shut their doors until further notice. While some of us have been hit harder than others, it is important to realize we are all in this storm together, while in different boats. It can be easy to focus on our hardships, but when we choose to work together and see the positives in scenarios such as this, it can be incredibly impactful. In this ever-evolving pandemic, we want to give you some tools and resources to help you find the silver lining during this time.
Many local farmers are offering fresh produce subscriptions. Grocery stores are waiving online ordering and pick up fees, some are even offering free delivery, and many restaurants are offering discounts. Many people are opting to buy gift cards to use or give later. What a great way to support your local businesses and help them stay afloat.
With the sudden shift of online learning, many businesses are offering virtual youth programs that supplement their school efforts and offer fun and engaging activities for kids of all ages. Check out Rogue’s Financial Education resources, Biz Kid$ and Junior Achievement for educational programs that teach kids about financial and career literacy. Local Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Development Centers are working hard to put together online webinars and other tools for business owners to best educate themselves and come up with innovative ways to utilize their time and resources.
Cities are offering Adopt a Neighbor programs to promote connections and resources, allowing the most vulnerable of our population to avoid exposure by staying home. Non-profits such as Access and United Way are offering donation programs to help provide relief to those left vulnerable by the pandemic. There is so much giving happening, even by those who have little to give.
Most individuals will receive an Economic Impact Payment (also referred to as the stimulus payment) of $1,200 from the IRS (plus $500 for each kid under 17) as part of the stimulus bill. The government also approved an extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits, disaster loans and grants for small business owners. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a trusted source that is committed to providing consumers with up-to-date information and resources to protect and manage their finances during this difficult time as the situation evolves. Lastly, the Federal tax return due date was pushed back to July 15, but you can still receive your refund prior to that date.
With parents working from home and children learning through a new online method, it is likely that people will see an increase in their bills – grocery, utility, power and water. If you find yourself struggling to cover the cost, call your provider and see if you can work something out. Also, many schools and other assistance programs are offering free lunches.
For those who are finding themselves at home all day and not needing a second vehicle, call your auto insurance agent and ask about suspending insurance on one of them. They can work up scenarios to find out how much you would save per month on not only parking one vehicle but also think about all of the gas you will, or have already saved.
During tough economic times, the Federal Reserve can lower interest rates to encourage people to spend, invest and borrow money. This means if you have the means to refinance your home, now is a great time to look into this!
Your Credit Union
We are here for you. We understand that working and teaching from home has left members without the technology needed to support their needs. Therefore, Rogue is offering a 0% APR* Computer Loan for 12 months! Not only is this an amazing deal, it is a great way to improve your credit.
If you have lost income and need to look at adjusting your budget, we can help. Rogue has Financial Education tools online and email classes on budgeting and credit, as well as some fun learning resources such as our budget worksheet and 52 week savings challenge. Knowing the difference between non-essentials (wants) and essentials (needs) can help manage your discretionary spending, and what a perfect time to look at this. Whatever decisions you make today can impact your finances for years to come, long after the impact of COVID-19 has passed. So, it is important to make smart money moves and remember that we are here to help.
We’ve created COVID-19 Member Resources Lists for those who are experiencing hardship during this time.
- Jackson County Resource List
- Josephine County Resource List
- Klamath County Resource List
- Douglas County Resources List
- South Coast Resource List