139th News

Coping with Financial Issues of COVID-19 - Part 19

  • Published
  • By Randy Gerard, Personal Financial Counselor
  1. CARES Act 2 or HEALS Act? – Here is what I have read (according to Forbes) as an update from last week with the rumored next version of financial assistance for individuals and small businesses:
  1. The House version would extend the $600 unemployment supplement to January 31, 2021; the Senate version would be $200 until October 5, 2020, but then increase to approximately 70% of lost wages, seen as an incentive to get folks back to work.
  2. Proposal has up to $2B for state assistance to repay expenses incurred from providing funds under TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).
  3. Stimulus checks would remain as before ($1,200/$500) but the Senate proposal does extend the dependent child payment to any dependent, regardless of age.
  4. There are several proposals regarding Payroll Tax Credits and Deferrals (Employee Retention Credit; Work Opportunity Tax Credit, e.g.) but for the sake of brevity will only mention them here. Obviously, these are proposals so while maybe exciting to know that something is coming, don’t spend it yet!

II. Back to School under COVID-19– Hard to believe maybe, but yes, the 2020-21 school year is rapidly approaching, whatever it’s going to look like.  Some of you with kids probably have already started this but just in case something was overlooked, here are some borrowed/paraphrased ideas from Dave Ramsey:

  1. Possible “Looks”
  • Adjusted/modified In-Class set up - Room configurations, sanitation stations, etc.
  • Combined In-Class/Virtual option
  • Alternating days or weeks with portions of the students (sound familiar?  “Split Wing”?)
  • 100% Virtual
  1. Steps in Preparation-not all inclusive, but a good start
  • Stay current with your school posts/policies as well as local government restrictions
  • Modify your budget, it WILL be different based on the version of school you will have
  • For any portion of virtual support, ensure devices are current, working, required apps installed, charge cords located, etc.  Determine if your school district will provide any required items.
  • Maintain your usual (normal?) daily routine, even if home schooling:  clean up, dress, eat breakfast, go to school.  If you annually do back-to-school shopping (see below) consider it.
  • Provide positive environment/example, don’t verbalize/show frustration, negativity, etc.
  1. Back to School Shopping-Probably “preaching to the choir” as they say, but just in case…
  • Make a list as best you can of required items and establish costs so you’ll know a bargain
  • Have a plan, budget for adjustments in household expenses, avoid credit card use
  • Consider signing up for store emails to get promos, sale notification and coupons
  • Don’t overlook value of discount/Dollar stores for some items
  • Dave Ramsey reports there are over 29 million households with school-aged kids who planned to spend an average of $685 on back to school items this year.Be prepared for your version and call me if you need any help!
  1.  “Potpourri” Addendum- Last week I had several items of general financial assistance, one of which related to credit scores/reports.  Please take note of these additional items:

Don’t hesitate to reach out by phone, email or ask for a private video session for you or your family members. Be Vigilant and STAY SAFE!

Randy Gerard, PFC   C (573) 415-6934 O (816) 236-3659   pfc.rosecrans.ang@zeiders.com