Changing Focus During The Covid-19 Pandemic: Your Work

The Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic causes significant changes to work environments. Those working see social distancing guidelines encouraged, personal protective items like gloves and masks worn, and reductions in the overall workforce. Others may be working from home or seeing schedule reductions, furloughs, or job loss from economic effects of COVID-19. We may benefit from shifting focus to work during these unprecedented circumstances.

If working, you may feel lucky to have income, but also vulnerable, since you risk exposure by going to work. Medical workers and emergency personnel made the decision to put themselves at risk to help others when their careers began, but now grocery, food service, and other essential employees may feel they are risking their health by working. If you are going to work, but feeling anxious or fearful about it, take some control by strictly following social distancing guidelines, washing you hands frequently, and wearing personal protective equipment when necessary. Stay informed by getting updates on COVID-19 from trusted medical experts, but don’t follow the constant news cycle about the virus during your free time, since being inundated with pandemic stories can be stressful.

If working from home, you may feel a sense of safety about your physical health, which could lead to increased productivity and good mental health. However, some will feel increased stress when thrown into a work from home scenario during the pandemic. Well-planned work from home situations can create up to a 13% increase in performance and a 50% drop in employee quit rates, according to Nicholas Bloom’s 2015 research. Unfortunately, today’s circumstances may include a lack of proper home office space, lack of privacy since the entire household is home, and a lack of control since working from home may be involuntary. Help yourself maintain structure by starting and ending in the same manner every day. For example, take 20 minutes in the morning to make coffee and check the news, then start working at a specific time. After your work day, take 30-60 minutes to exercise or prepare dinner. You would have been commuting to and from work under normal circumstances, so use this bonus time to set boundaries to your work day. Include regular breaks in your daily schedule and create an calm, comfortable workspace. Stay in contact with management to be clear about their expectations and goals during your time at home.

If you suffered a job loss due to COVID-19, remain diligent and patient as you work to secure unemployment insurance. Many states have long wait times to file and are dealing with websites that are crashing due to the unprecedented amount of claims. If you are in good health and want to work, many delivery and retail jobs are available at essential businesses. You may want to consider a short term loan to tide you over until work picks up or unemployment arrives. Many websites among other online options are available to help you through this difficult time.

The Top 4 Reasons You Will Want To File Your Taxes Early In The Season!

Let us be honest; we all dread tax season. It is stressful, it feels intrusive and there is a lot of terminology that is difficult to understand. We remain hopeful we will receive a tax refund, but we also worry that we might owe taxes. However, filing our taxes is something we must all do. So, if you are going to do it, why not do it early and reap the benefits? In 2020 we all had until April 15th to file our taxes; however, we could have filed as early as January 27th. Even if it is not tax season now, this information is still helpful in the future. So, when will you file your taxes in 2021?

Provides Time to Relax

If none of the benefits below get you to file your taxes early, maybe this one will. While everyone else is stressing to make sure their taxes get filed before the deadline, you will be able to sit back and RELAX because you have already got your taxes done. And lets be honest now, who doesnt love feeling relaxed while everyone else around them is stressing about something they still must finish. Even better, if you do have a tax refund, you can use the funds, or at least part of the funds, for something relaxing. Get a massage or even treat yourself to some delicious comfort food.

Do Not Let Someone Steal Your Identity

Yes, you read that right. The sooner you file your taxes the less chance you give identity thieves to use your Social Security number to file fraudulent taxes. Every year around $15.8 million is claimed in fraudulent refunds. You do not want your SSN and refund to be a part of those numbers. If you file your taxes but the system rejects your tax return, it may have rejected your application because there is already a tax return in the system. It can be a hassle, and an investigation may start, looking back at your taxes from multiple years. You can stop the identity thieves from stealing your Social Security number by filing your tax returns as soon as you can.

Owe Money? Give Yourself Time to Get It Together

Some of us may owe money to the IRS this upcoming tax season. If you do owe money that money must be paid before the date taxes are due. If you do not pay the proper amount of fees, it can cost you up to 25%. Once you start filing the proper paperwork, it will give you ample time to get all the correct forms and know how much, if any, you owe the IRS. Filing early gives you more time to pull that money together. Do you have enough money to cover a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars in owed taxes? Getting the funds together may take time. Filing early gives you a few weeks to save up the necessary funds.

Get Cash Faster

By filing your taxes sooner, you will also receive your refund sooner. Who does not want funds in their bank account? However, if you tried your best to get your taxes filed early but could not get everything together, it can be frustrating. No one is perfect, and it happens. Sometimes it is even out of your control. If you were expecting a bit of cash by a certain date, it can be frustrating if you do not get it, regardless of the reason. If you do not get your necessary tax refund by a certain time, you might consider applying for a payday loan. Check out some reasons why you should apply for a payday loan and how it can help you, here:

If you want to file your taxes sooner next year, you can start the process a few ways. One of the best ways is by keeping a list of anything you will need for tax purposes. Make a note of all the places you have income. What jobs do you work throughout 2020? Do you have investments? Do you own something that provides you with income? Will you move over an IRA or 401K? Will there be a change to your health insurance? Will you receive Social Security Income? All of these are information you will need to provide for tax season next year. There are other forms that you may or may not need as well. Start your research today. Knowing what forms you will eventually need, will let you know when you have collected all the forms necessary.

Build An Emergency Fund: Simple Ways To Succeed

Nearly half of Americans do not have funds for a $400 emergency expense, according to a recent survey. This may seem surprising, but considering the number of people living paycheck to paycheck, it makes sense. Many of us worry daily about our lack of financial security. Home repairs can range from hundreds to thousands. AAA lists the average car repair cost at $500-$600. The average cost for an emergency room visit is $1700. Funeral costs can easily be thousands of dollars. We can be better prepared by building an emergency fund and here are some simple ways to succeed.

Prepare meals at home. We spend around 6.1% of our income dining out. It is roughly four times more expensive to buy food outside your home, rather than to cook at home. Utilize sales at the grocery store to create a meal plan that works for you. Take your lunch to work so you see the savings begin right away and your emergency fund will be off to a great start.

If you don’t have a good use for them, selling unnecessary items will jump start your emergency fund. Keep what you actually need and use regularly, but anything left over is ready for a yard sale. If you lack time or space for a yard sale, try selling your items online.

Earn extra income by getting a second job. Even a few hours per month can really add up. Many businesses offer employee discounts, so you can save even more with a job at a grocery store, auto repair shop, or insurance agency. If another job isn’t possible, earning income from occasional babysitting, lawn care, petsitting, or handyman services might work better for you. Get creative and feed that emergency fund!

Make budget cuts. Cancel any subscription or membership you haven’t used in the last three months. If you have an expensive cable television or satellite package, try moving to a cheaper package or stopping the service if you aren’t under contract. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Sling offer tons of programming for much less than cable or satellite providers, but only keep subscriptions you use often. If you don’t use your gym membership much, try reaching your fitness goals in other ways. Consider what you pay for salon or barbershop services. Make sure you aren’t overpaying and that your current services are necessary while building your emergency fund.

Start small in the beginning. If you can find a way to save only $20 each month, you’ll have $240 at the end of the year. If you are able to save $40 monthly, you could handle an emergency expense by the end of the year, with $480 in your emergency fund.

Be conscious of your financial decisions, set realistic goals, and have the discipline to reach them. If you encounter an emergency expense before your fund is ready, visit for other options.

Five Ways You’re Hurting Your Financial Health

It’s often difficult to identify what is keeping you in debt. This is a touchy subject, but recognizing these areas and doing something about them can improve your financial health tremendously. Be honest with yourself if you’ve adopted these habits, since the first step toward making changes is recognizing the problems.

You’re blind to your debts. Have you found that you’re trying not to think about your debts at all? Denial is a trait that leads to staying in debt. Taking a full inventory of what you owe and being proactive in finding solutions to get yourself out of debt is the only way to handle the situation. Cutting back on expenses, looking at possible solutions like personal loans through or debt consolidation services, and making finances a priority are all great ways to start this process.

You feel helpless. Being in debt can make you feel inadequate, which causes you to lose confidence in yourself and control of your situation. Getting a clear picture of what your financial situation is and taking measures to rectify the situation can create confidence in you to get back on track. When you’re fully aware of your financial health and work to become more stable, you will regain control.

You’re not paying yourself. This can be a huge factor into a continuous cycle of debt. Paying yourself means adding money to your savings account when you get your paychecks. Savings accounts take discipline to build, but having one can help you avoid putting purchases on credit cards or taking out unnecessary loans. You won’t miss $10-$20 each paycheck, but with time it will become a great asset.

You prefer instant gratification to planning for the future. Getting through this week and this month with the money you have is important, but making sure you are setting yourself up for success in the future is equally important. Getting yourself into a financially healthy position is a process that may take some time, but you have to start today. Ask yourself if every purchase is vital or if that money would be better saved. Taking control of your financial future means that you have to start prioritizing your future goals.

You don’t have a plan. Every course of action needs a plan. Take time to analyze your income and expenses. What “extras” are you spending money on frequently that you could cut back or eliminate? Monthly treats and subscriptions add up. Getting rid of non-essentials that you are accustomed to having seems difficult, but you can enjoy them again once your financial picture improves. Incentivize savings or other financial goals. Pay off a credit card? Enjoy an evening out with friends. Reach $500 in savings? Purchase an additional streaming service for your household to enjoy. You can learn new behaviors that will improve your financial health!

How To Get Approved For Better Loans, Credit Cards, And Apartments

How does your credit score rank? Generally, 300-599 is considered very bad and 600-649 is considered poor. 650-699 is considered fair while 700-749 is considered good. A score of 750-799 is considered very good and a score of 800-850 is considered excellent.

Theres no shame in having one score or another, but having a better score can open up more opportunities for better loans and credit cards. Consumers with poor credit may only be offered credit cards and loans with higher interest rates. These same consumers are also at risk for being denied for much needed loans and rental applications.

Your previous payment history, the number of years of credit history you have, how much credit you currently have out, how many accounts youve recently opened, and how many different types of credit you have can all affect your current credit score.

Your credit score is determined by the three national credit bureaus in the US. The information that Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion collects influences your credit scores.

The good news is that payday loan providers like Net Pay Advance do not check your credit score. They know that sometimes life happens, and emergency expenses come up. Regardless of credit history, they just want to be able to help you get the cash you need before your next payday. For more information on these types of loans and how they can help you while you work on building better credit, you can visit

Ways to Improve Your Credit Rating

Use your current credit card(s) responsibly. Pay your bills in full and on time every month to avoid interest and additional fees. Credit cards are not free money. They should be treated as a bill. Keep a close eye on your receipts, credit card statements, and bank account. Make sure you do not purchase more than you can pay. If you dont currently have a credit card, you can apply for one to build credit. Credit Karma has tools to see which cards you will most likely be approved for. You will want to look at this list first before applying for anything because often credit checks can ding your score and drop you a few points. You will want to only apply for credit cards you have a good chance of being approved for.

If you have a family member that is comfortable with you having access to their card, you can become an authorized user on their current credit card, or open a new joint account with them. The good news is that if youre both responsible with paying off the credit card debt, you can both positively impact your scores. The bad news is that if either of you are irresponsible with paying off the credit card debt, you can both be held liable for that debt, and both of your scores can be negatively affected. One option would be to become a user on a card you dont have access too. For example, a parent or spouse may agree to add you to their card, with the condition that you never actually buy anything with it.

One of the best ways to improve your credit score is by paying off past debts. If you currently have credit card debt or a loan taken out, youre going to want to pay it back as soon as possible. Some of the most common debts that people have are school debt, medical debt, a mortgage, and car loans. Pay these off as soon as possible to save money on interest and give your credit a boost.

Keep your personal information secure so that you can avoid identity theft. If someone is able to get ahold of all your personal information, like your name, age, gender, address, and social security number, they will be able to take out credit cards and loans in your name. Of course, this action is illegal, but they could still rack up thousands of dollars in debt in your name before you even find out. Recovering from stolen identity can be a long and difficult journey, so be sure to shred your documents and dont share personal information.

Paying your other bills on time can show that youre responsible. Experian (one of the credit bureaus) allows you to include your monthly bills on your score. If you pay your utility bills on time, it could increase your score a little. However, unpaid utility bills that you default on could be reported to collection agencies, thus lowering your score. Either way, it is a good idea to pay your monthly bills on time.

No matter what youre score is, you can take small steps every day to make changes that can improve your score. Changing a credit score can take a long time, so you should work on improving it even if you dont need a loan right now.

Find Out More About Whole Life Insurance

The only thing disadvantage of getting life cover quotes online is the fact that some information is not provided. Some people do not have any knowledge regarding this policy, what it stands for, what it will do and terms. If individuals were offered all the details, a better decision would be made about purchasing the right life insurance for the family. There are two options when it comes to choosing a life policy. The first is whole life and the second is term life, and there is a big difference between the two options. Whole life is the better options since term life will not fulfill your needs for your entire life.

What is life insurance?

It can be seen as permanent insurance, in other words, it is a policy that will cover your entire life. The insurance plan will provide you with financial protection as long as you are alive, even if you reach the age of a 100. Term life, in contrast, will offer you protection for only a specific period (usually between five and thirty years).

Does whole life insurance of cash values?

Yes. Some companies do offer this benefits after a certain amount of years, and people prefer it because they can use the cash for anything they want to.

What are the benefits of having a whole life cover?

Firstly, you have covered your entire life, should anything happen to you any time in life, your family will receive money to take care of their financial future. It gives you peace of mind knowing that they will be taken care off. Secondly, in contrast with term life, the coverage amount is a lot higher, and you can make sure that your family will have money to settle all debt. Thirdly, the money can be used by the beneficiary for anything like settle bills, education fees, starting up a small business, going on holiday, supplying daily needs and so much more. Lastly, life insurance companies in South Africa provide clients with an additional benefit called the accidental death benefit. If you or a loved one die in an accident, your insurance company will pay out double your cover amount to your beneficiaries.

Getting life insurance to look after your loved ones is one of the most selfless acts, and it shows character. It is essential to start and prepare for your financial future; you never know what tomorrow may bring and where will you and your family be.

For more information about this topic, please visit the following link and find out more.

The Basics Of Life Insurance

Life insurance is an agreement between an insurance company and an individual. The insurer promises to give a certain amount of money to the beneficiaries of the deceased when he/she leaves this world.

There are two types of life insurance policies; term policies which have a pre-determined length of the plan. If you die before the period is over, your beneficiaries are compensated, but if the policyâs period is over before you die, you will not be repaid. Whole life policies insure you for your entire life and only compensate the beneficiaries once the fact that you can no longer breathe is proved. The main difference between term policies and whole life policies is that the latterâs premium rates remain constant from the day to take on the plan while in the former the prices are set a little higher every time you renew the policy.

However, depending on the terms of the chronic policy illnesses may trigger the payments. The insured has to pay regular monthly or annual fees for the claim to be honored.

Other reasons could cause the claim to be discarded; they are usually included in the policy terms and conditions. The most common goals include; suicide or suicidal causes, fraud, riots, civil commotions, and riots.

Although mostly ignored, there are real benefits in owning a life cover the most important one is the peace of mind that comes with the policy. Suppose you suffer a chronic disease like saying â God forbid â cancer whose medication bites off a good chunk of your savings and leaves you on your deathbed, having a life cover policy would ensure you have peace. This is because you will know that you are not moving your family into a stressful life riddled with dialysis debts and no money for their upkeep.

Life insurance will also maintain a regular order of things. The lifestyle of your family does not have to be compromised because the familyâs breadwinner is deceased.

The type of policy you choose to take depends on a couple of things. On top of the list is the number of people you are providing for. If you have only one daughter who has a job, then the type of policy you can take should be a small one that would cover for the funeral expenses. This is because you do not have that many people depending on your income. However, if you have a home-spouse, three kids, and your parents all depending on you the policy you will be taking has to be a larger one. A whole life policy would be more beneficial in this case.

Life insurance quotes are the prices of the policies as per a specific company. These are also significant determinants of the type of systems you can buy. Your future financial commitments and your current income should be put into consideration when you are purchasing a policy. It should be remembered that in this case, a whole life policy would be the most appropriate.

Personal Finance Hacks

When managing your personal finances, you need to work smart to minimize expenditure as much as possible. You can easily achieve this in two ways; if you are a homeowner or intent to buy one, you can borrow against your home’s equity. This will save you the stress of going for a bank loan as you will already be sorted. You can also go the zero interest credit card way, in which you can transfer your balance to another card so that you do not have to pay interest on your credit card balance.

Hack #1: Borrow Against Your Home’s Equity

This hack is for homeowners, but it’s good for everyone to know about should you ever decide to buy a home.

How It Works: Instead of having the bank front you the money you need through a personal loan, you borrow against your home’s equity. (As a reminder, equity is the difference between the total of your mortgage and the appraised value of your home.)

Hack #2: Pay Down Debt Using a Zero Interest Credit Card

For this hack, you need either a respectable credit score in order to apply for a new card or an existing credit card with zero interest.

How It Works: The most insidious part of carrying a large balance on your card is the interest that you’re paying on that balance, which can be as much as 20%. With this hack, you’re making a balance transfer to another card to avoid paying that interest.

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Using grocery list and coupons is a great way of cutting on cost when buying items especially for your domestic use. This is easy if you print and using the coupons you need to avoid buying additional items that are not necessary and further saving you on time when you get into the grocery as well.

It’s a simple strategy. Before you walk into a grocery store, make a list of the items you intend to buy there, and check online for any coupons that may be available for those items. Take a look at the Simple Dollar Coupon Finder for hundreds of daily coupons and coupon codes for grocery and pharmacy items. The trick is to make sure you’re only printing and using the coupons you need–don’t buy extra useless items just because they’re on sale. When you get to the grocery store, just stick to the list you made while you’re at the store. For every minute you spend making the list and checking for coupons outside of the store, you’ll save two or three minutes while you’re actually in the store because you’ll be heading directly to items you need and won’t spend any time wandering, so it’s actually a time saver.

Switch Light Bulbs from Incandescents to LEDs

Lately, I’ve been switching from incandescent light bulbs in our house to LEDs. The LEDs at the store are definitely more expensive up front, but the reduced energy use and much longer replacement cycle of LED bulbs make up the difference. LED bulbs last twenty times as long and use roughly 20% as much energy as incandescent bulbs.

This is a situation where a switch saves both time and money. It doesn’t take any longer to buy LED bulbs, but you’re only going to be buying and replacing them 5% as often as before. If you figure that buying and replacing a light bulb takes you five minutes all told, a single LED bulb purchase will save you about an hour and a half of buying and replacing bulbs over its lifespan.

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When dealing with money, one has to be considerate of their expenditure to be able to save on the little money that may seem not to be so substantial, but can still make a big difference at the end of the day. Learning to refrain from unnecessary expenditure is one great way of life, for everyone indeed. Major on your financial well-being and minimize your expenditure on meals to be able to achieve set goals that should be prioritized above all.

Learning the art of saying no – No to going out, no to buying that thing, no to a time commitment, etc. Learning to say NO is huge, it’ll save you a lot of money and, more importantly, time so you can focus on the important things in life. Here are some great tips on how to learn the art of saying no.

Learn to prioritize your financial health above your wants – You can start by being intentional about your financial future (like setting goals) until your intentional actions become habits. Natalie from FinanceGirl shares how she intentional living can help you make better decisions and live with fewer regrets.


Learn to cook a few basic meals – Cooking from scratch is a great way to save money. Spaghetti & meatballs, grilled chicken and vegetables, whatever is both good and tasty (here are some places to find recipes). Have a few go-tos to impress friends, slim down your dining out budget, and slim down your waist. To kick this up to the next level, have a “signature dish” that you can make in your sleep and that is really good. (mine is Chicken Parm)

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