Thoughts about Money in the Time of Corona

Hello, my dear Fellow Weekend Intensive Grads and Artists, Rose Marie here, your resident Acting Business Boot Camp Budget Coach.

I know this time is proving financially tricky for many of us. So, I wanted to offer a few key ways to help ease the pain during this period of uncertainty.

Here are a few things you can do to help with your finances.

Now is an incredible time to take a look at your spending.

I know it may be painful. I know it may feel yucky, but I encourage you to print out all of your statements from the last month or two and highlight three kinds of charges.

  1.  Anything impulsive
  2. Anything that you had negative emotions about after the purchase
  3. Anything that is a subscription or autopay

Usually, when we look at finances, we try to add additional income, but with work being challenging to come by in this crisis, we want to pair down our spending as much as possible. 

This simple exercise offers perspective into your current relationship with money. It’s essential to separate your ideas of being “good” or “bad” and begin to think in terms of “does this purchase bring me closer or further away from my goals?” And your goal doesn’t have to be quantifiable; it could be as simple as “is it long term going to make me feel worse or better?”

Having a strong “why” helps too. When I do have a goal to save towards, I find it helps me because I have a sense of what “future Rose Marie” wants and needs in the present moment if you want a useful exercise in finding a good “why,” email me and I’ll send you a quick 5-minute exercise.

I encourage people to do this step. Getting radically honest with yourself is often the first step in the right direction. You can’t have positive change without awareness.

What gets measured gets managed.

Look at your Current Subscriptions and Put Most on Pause

Take a look at what is automatically coming out of your funds (streaming excluded haha, unless you can share with your roommate). You want to save money, look at the lowest hanging fruit.

Do you have a gym membership? Or maybe you pay monthly to AMC A-List or Rent the Runway…Call them. Most will let you pause it for the near future. Ask about options with your gym since they are closed at the moment. Look at what you usually spend on and see what you can cut out during this time at home. Are you currently subscribed to services that you may not need while the industry isn’t working (IMDB Pro or Casting Now, for instance)? If you are choosing between going into debt and pausing these subscriptions. Put them on hold for the time being (they will be there when you get back!)

See if you are paying for anything you are not using. Be honest with yourself. If you have HBO AND Showtime AND Hulu AND Netflix AND Disney+ maybe consider picking a top one or two.

Call your Credit Card Companies

Ask about your interest rates and see if you can get them lowered for the time being. Most companies are deferring payments, however please note you may accrue interest but no late fees.

ONLY DO THIS IF YOU CAN NOT AFFORD TO PAY OFF YOUR CARDS IN FULL. IF YOU HAVE AN INCOME STREAM PLEASE DO NOT ACCRUE DEBT.

The IRS has Extended the Federal Income Tax Date

The filing due date has been pushed from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. If you are a freelancer (especially those who will owe taxes), this is good news. If you are expecting a refund, the government is encouraging you to go ahead and file now to receive your refund sooner.

For more info, visit https://www.irs.gov/

Consider Putting Your Student Loan in Forbearance

You can pause your Federal Student Loan for 60 days with no additional interest. Usually, when you put your loan in forbearance, you continue to accumulate interest, but as of March 20, the president paused student loan interest. Essentially you can pause your payments for 60 days without accumulating more debt.

If you have a private loan, call your company and ask about your options. Most are accommodating given the obvious circumstances.

Contact your Health Insurance Company

If you pay for health insurance via the New York State Health Marketplace, call them and report your change in income. Your monthly payment may decrease.

If you can’t afford to pay your premium, call your provider. Many have options, and most will continue your coverage and allow you to catch up on payments later.

If you have other insurance, consider contacting them as well and seeing what they can do for you.

If you’re Healthy, Consider Applying for Delivery Jobs

Places like Trader Joes, Amazon, UPS, and Postmates are looking for delivery (car, foot, and bike) as well as personal shoppers.

If you are healthy and comfortable, consider applying for these temporary jobs.

File for Unemployment (if you haven’t already)

You can file through New York State if you have been laid off during this time.

CLICK HERE to learn more.

If you are not located in New York, a quick Google search should point you in the right direction.

Contact Organizations for Financial Assistance

The Actor’s Fund: Check out if you’re eligible HERE

New York Foundation for the Arts

Artist Fellowship Resources

General Aggregated help including financial and legal related specifically to COVID-19

Finally, ASK! ASK! ASK!

Don’t be shy— call companies and institutions and ask for help. The worst they can say is “no.”

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Need some help going through your budget?

I am offering my services for a 25% discount ($45 per session). And if you can’t afford that, let me know, and we will work something out. This is a tough time, and I don’t want anyone feeling like they have no one to turn to, and I am here to help. Email me at [email protected] with any questions or to set up a consult.

Now, go wash your hands and please stay home.

Xo,

Rose Marie

*This content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, financial, or other advice.