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COVID-19: Protect Yourself Financially
We are going through a difficult and unnerving time in our lives right now and this signifies that people need to protect themselves financially. The team at mindyourmind will be writing blogs to help shift your mindset to a more positive outlook during this time. The news, for the most part, focuses on the most alarming issues related to COVID-19. Although it’s good to be aware of such issues, it’s important not to forget about things we can do to protect our financial future. We want to assure you that we are all in this together and that the government is implementing new policies to protect us and our money.
The rules are changing and evolving, but this is a snapshot of what is happening right now in Canada (March 24, 2020):
- Your tax filing deadline is extended to June 2020.
- Everyone is being told to stay home now to curb the spread of COVID-19, which may significantly impact your income. Some people may have lost their jobs. Stay informed about how you are permitted to hold off on paying some bills, loans, mortgage. Refer to your bank’s website as they will have all of the information you need to avoid being penalized.
- $305 million for a new Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation communities.
- The Emergency Care Benefit of UP TO $900 biweekly, up to 15 weeks. This is intended to provide financial support to Canadians who are directed to stay home and are not qualified for paid sick leave or employment insurance.
- The government is doubling the homeless care program.
- A new Emergency Support Benefit to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
- Other measures include a GST credit for low-income Canadians and special support for the homeless and shelters helping people escaping gender-based violence.
- Help is still available through phone or online. So many support services are still functioning if you need an anonymous person to talk to right now. ConnexOntario is open 24/7 to help you find support for mental health, addictions and gambling issues.
Apply for EI regular benefits on the Canadian Government website.
- A six-month, interest-free break for student loan payments.
- How to save money now? Make sure that when you are at the grocery store you stock up on canned food, frozen food and healthy food so that you can stay nourished. Maybe it’s a good time to limit spending on alcohol or any other recreational substances.
- Ask friends on social media how they are saving their money and tips they can offer to make your money last longer. Share your tips with them!
- If you are renting, make sure to know your rights to protect yourself. The Government of Ontario is putting evictions on hold during this time but you are still expected to pay your rent. See Renting in Ontario: Your rights for more details.
Some tips to save money right now
- If you have it available, keeping cash on hand can be useful for emergencies.
- Write out a budget. How far can you stretch your money and for how long?
- Write a list of what you can go without for a while. Can you reduce the amount you spend on takeout? Can you make meals and freeze them for the future? Leftovers are key in saving money.
- Grocery stores, pharmacies, and food delivery are waiving their delivery charges now, so you can take advantage of this if you can’t leave the home.
Keep yourself updated on what is going on in the news but don’t keep it on all day. And if you need a break from the news right now, check your government website a couple of times a week for correct information. Have confidence in yourself and your ability to adapt to new situations. You can do this!
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Marnie enjoys a good joke, plants and chasing after her puppy, Hondo!
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