by Maurie Backman | Published on Sept. 7, 2021
Many or all of the products here are from our partners. We may earn a commission from offers on this page. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
Here's what to do if you're losing the $300 a week that's been helping you stay afloat.
When the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was signed into law back in March, the public was quick to celebrate the fact that they'd be getting another round of stimulus payments in their bank accounts. But the massive relief bill didn't just allow for stimulus funds to go out. It also sent jobless Americans a lifeline by boosting unemployment benefits by $300 a week.
For many unemployed workers, that extra $300 has helped them cover their bills in the absence of much savings to fall back on. But unfortunately, the American Rescue Plan only put that boost in place through Labor Day, and at this point, it's no longer in play. That doesn't mean people will lose all of their unemployment benefits, but those weekly payments will shrink substantially.
If you've lost your boosted benefits and haven't yet managed to find a job, you may be feeling distressed -- and understandably so. Here are some moves you can try to help make up for that loss.
Tips and tricks from the experts delivered straight to your inbox that could help you save thousands of dollars. Sign up now for free access to our Personal Finance Boot Camp.
By submitting your email address, you consent to us sending you money tips along with products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe at any time. Please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.
Though there are millions of jobs available today, that doesn't mean you'll have an easy time finding one. You may work in an industry where hiring hasn't yet ramped up, or you may be grappling with childcare constraints that make a full-time job difficult to take on right now.
If that's the case, look at doing different gigs on a part-time basis. You may, for example, be able to find a data entry job you can do from home for a few hours here and there. Or you may be able to drive for a ride-hailing company a few evenings a week. Those gigs could provide extra income to take the place of the $300 a week you're now missing.
If you've been relying on unemployment benefits over the past few months, you may already be on quite a tight budget. But it wouldn't hurt to take another close look at your expenses and see if there's any way to trim back. Even very minor changes like switching to a cell phone plan that's $10 a month cheaper could make a big difference when your main source of income has suddenly been reduced.
Housing is the typical American's largest monthly expense. If you can reduce that expense on a temporary basis until you're employed full time, then you might manage to get by in the absence of that extra $300 a week.
If you're not locked into a lease and you can move without spending a lot of money (say, you have friends who can help you out for free), then it may be worth looking into a smaller living space. Otherwise, see if you can make your current space less costly by getting a roommate.
The fact that boosted unemployment ran out may not have come as a shock. After all, that boost was only set up to last through early September from the start. But that doesn't mean you're having an easy time without it.
If you're struggling, see if the above moves will help. You may also want to see if you're eligible for other types of assistance, like SNAP benefits to help with your food costs. Even if your financial crunch is temporary in nature, it pays to access all the aid you can get.
If you have credit card debt, transferring it to this top balance transfer card secures you a 0% intro APR into 2023! Plus, you’ll pay no annual fee. Those are just a few reasons why our experts rate this card as a top pick to help get control of your debt. Read The Ascent's full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2021 The Ascent. All rights reserved.