View stories from real people
Restaurant Owner, Intuit QuickBooks & Mint Customer
"I learned to take things step by step money-wise, every little step is one step toward a bigger goal and the bigger picture. When we were worried about paying our rent, I would say, “Okay, how can I break this down in weeks?” Chip away at it little by little — if you do a little bit every day, you just feel like you’re on top of it."
Project Manager, Intuit QuickBooks Customer
“We had to figure out what was important and what wasn't, what was a need and what was just a want. That started with my wife and I as we're deciding what bill to pay. "I guess we can turn the TV off, but the power is important." That's carried through to today.”
Retired, Intuit QuickBooks Customer
“There's a brighter day ahead. The advice I would give to my younger self would be that, there's going to be good times, and there's going to be bad times. And you need to prepare for the bad times as well as the good times.”
Chef/Restaurant Owner, Intuit TurboTax Customer
“The best organizational tip to stay on top of my finances is having the right tools. You have to have something that's easy to use, that helps you have your mind clear about what you're doing, and gives you extra time to do what you need to do. It makes you a better person, better business owner, because you don't have to stress about too much.”
"When I needed money, I would go door to door and ask if anyone needed hair dressing. I would almost always get someone who would like their hair done and since I was going right to their place, I was able to save them time and money on gas."
When to file
Unemployed and unsure about when to file for benefits? The sooner you file, the sooner insurance kicks in which can ease immediate financial stress.
Learn how to get your money situation in order on the Mint blog
How to file
Visit the Department of Labor site to understand more about the federal unemployment insurance options available. There are also helpful links to find your state’s instructions.
Furlough: what that means for your taxes
Millions of people have been furloughed and are unsure how to report any earnings during their furlough period on their taxes. If you applied for and received unemployment benefits during your furlough period, you will need to report your unemployment earnings on your upcoming 2020 tax return (filed in 2021). In contrast, if you received the government stimulus package, you will not need to report it as it is non-taxable.
Learn more and calculate your taxable income in the TurboTax Blog
Money management tips
During uncertain times, it is important to remain calm and centered to make decisions with the best information possible. It’s wise to express any emotions you may have with a trusted family member, friend, or licensed therapist and use your network of professionals to help guide you.
Visit Mint Easy Budgeting Tips
Have a plan
Creating a budget or financial plan can help you gain more clarity about your finances, especially during times of economic uncertainty. Creating a plan through Mint or with a financial planner, will help you so that you won’t need to react as much to unforeseen circumstances.
Review your plan
If you have a financial planner, speak with him/her about a plan. You should review your plan during times like this to ensure you are doing the right things with your money. If you don’t have a financial planner, look for free services available or check out www.cfpboard.net to find a planner who fits your needs.
Review your budget and cut out any unnecessary expenses. The Mint App can help you do a deep dive into all your monthly expenses to see if there is anything that you can cut. Perhaps memberships or subscriptions you no longer use? Any freed up cash can be spent towards essentials or another financial goal.
Mint for iOS
Mint for Android
Consider refinancing debt to get lower interest rates. The Federal Reserve has lowered interest rates and also increased the amount of short-term loans it offers banks to keep cash flowing smoothly. This could affect interest rates on credit cards or other personal debts but make sure to talk to a professional as it does not always make sense to refinance debt nor does this mean that mortgage rates will necessarily go down. Do your research and make sure you understand your options carefully.
Learn more on the Mint blog
Generating extra income
If money is tight right now, look for ways you can potentially generate supplemental income. For example, capitalize on your talents. Look into monetizing skills you already possess, such as blogging, starting a virtual store, or offering handyman services.
Leveraging your credit card rewards can also be a helpful way to offset costs as long as you manage your credit responsibly. Lastly, selling any of your used or unopened items you may have lying around your house can often lead to earning a few extra bucks.
Learn more ways to generate income on the Mint Blog
Additional tips and tricks for money management
As stay at home orders persist, the likelihood of households needing two or more cars is becoming less. If you’re looking for a way to save, consider downsizing to one vehicle in order to save money on insurance, you could potentially even recoup a profit from the sale itself. Pro tip: If your car has its fair share of miles on it, it can potentially be sold at a local salvage yard for cash or donated to charity for a tax break!
The 50/30/20 budgeting rule may also be a helpful guide on how to save, even during a crisis. Start by allocating 50% of your income to essentials, 20% towards savings, and 30% (or less) towards wants. In order to continue to budget and save where you can, take a look at whether any subscriptions can be canceled, services be bundled, or “wants” be eliminated.
Learn more on the Mint Blog and The 50/30/20 Budgeting Rule
Think about the big picture
First, get a big-picture look at your financial situation. What are your basic living expenses, how much debt do you have, and will you be getting any financial assistance in the form of unemployment or disability checks?
Then, go through all your expenses and see what you can cut back on or get rid of entirely - starting with memberships or subscriptions that you don’t need.
Visit the Mint blog to learn more
Check information about eviction moratoriums* in your state. If there’s one where you live and you’re unable to cover your rent because of the COVID-19, then you could be eligible to stay in your home for a period of time while a moratorium is in place. Moratoriums are being rolled out at the city, county, or state level in some localities. There are different rules and terms depending on where you live, so you’ll have to check.
*A temporary postponement or prohibition
Reach out to your gas and power companies to see if they’re waiving late fees or being more forgiving before shutting off your utilities. Several utilities around the country are temporarily halting shut-off orders.
Start by doing your research to determine if refinancing is right for your situation. If interest rates are lower or your credit has improved, it might be worth shopping for a loan with better terms.
You can easily check rates online with Motorefi¹ without your credit being affected and without needing to provide a social security number. Just remember that if you didn’t get the best rates on your original auto loan, that doesn’t mean you have to stay locked-in. You can typically refinance a car loan at any time during the life of the loan.
Learn more about auto loan refinancing during COVID-19 on the Mint blog
Look for relief
If you’ve lost a job or aren’t able to work due to circumstances prompted by the coronavirus, help is out there. Check the Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA) website¹ or disaster unemployment benefits website¹ to understand the relief available for you - whether an hourly worker, small business owner, freelancer, or artist.
Build your plan
If you feel like your business financials are volatile right now, you're not alone.
Jot down worst-case scenarios and potential business struggles. Then finalize a plan for dealing with those problems before they arise. This is your guide to moving forward with speed and confidence.
Visit Small Business Help during COVID-19
Plan for supply
Build a supply continuity plan. This plan focuses on getting all the goods and resources you need from alternative sources, should a vendor cease production.
Set a communications plan
Your communications strategy should be for employees and customers. Decide what you need to tell investors, employees, and contractors, and create clear points of contact within your organization so messaging goes through proper channels.
Explore virtual and e-commerce options. If your business relies on face-to-face contact or in-store purchasing, now’s the time to think outside the box. Consider virtual meeting rooms for consults and services and online retail spaces for goods.
Take a deep dive into your current financial situation, engage a financial professional if you can, see where you stand, and plan accordingly. Often, things aren't as bad as they seem.
COVID-19 and Finances: Ultimate Money Tip and Resource Guide
It’s more important than ever to prioritize your mental health. Finding the help you need is critical to preserving your emotional, physical, and financial well being.
These sites and apps offer some of their services for free:
Shine site¹: Care topics for Coronavirus anxiety.
Headspace app¹, Calm app¹: Free guided meditation programs. Also offers in-app purchases.
Adjusting to working remotely
Working remotely can leave employees feeling disconnected from teams and co-workers. But teamwork is important for productivity.
Be transparent with your teammates and practice patience. Remember that you’re all in this together and as you work through your new reality.
Visit Small Business Help from QuickBooks during COVID-19
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