AARP AARP States New Jersey Finances 50+

Tips for Saving Money During Uncertain Times

Credit card money

At AARP, we are committed to giving you access to the tools and resources you need to effectively manage your money, especially in uncertain times like these.

It has been roughly one year since the COVID-19 pandemic unleashed itself upon America, and older Americans are still feeling the financial pains. From the closures of small businesses to soaring unemployment rates, the “new normal” is still affecting hundreds of thousands of Americans 50+. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans 55+ still constitute 5.3% of January 2021’s unemployment rate—that’s over 500,000 people. Here are some tips on how to stay financially secure during this stressful time:

Be Transparent

If you’re still experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic, being transparent with your lenders and creditors is essential. Rather than miss a payment, explain your situation and check to see if there are any special deals available due to COVID-19 challenges. Contacting a Credit Counselor through NFCC.org is another great option if you are finding yourself in debt.

In addition, call your cell phone and utility providers to see if there are any ways to save. If not, shopping for a better deal is another viable option. Cancel any unnecessary subscriptions on your list, and do a deep dive into your credit card statements to see if there are other ways to cut back and reduce your spending. Being transparent about your situation with yourself and those around you is a great place to begin your trek to financial security.

No Stimulus Check?

In 2020, there were several rounds of stimulus checks created as part of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. However, many Americans have yet to receive their checks. If you find yourself in this position, visit AARP’s article on how to claim that missing cash on your 2020 tax return.  

Begin the Job Search

If joining (or re-joining) the workforce is something you’re interested in, there are opportunities available. However, because older Americans have greater risk of contracting COVID-19, we recommend searching for work-from-home opportunities. Career sites such as LinkedIn have filters in place to find remote-only positions, and definitely tap into your own network to see if they’ve heard of any job openings through the grapevine.

Additionally, when updating your résumé, make sure it highlights relevant experience (work-from-home opportunities in particular) and includes a section explaining proficiencies in technology. An important aspect of working from home is the ability to learn new types of programs on your own, so promoting yourself as tech-savvy is a must. On your résumé, list whatever tech you can, including operating systems, software, web conferencing programs, and even social media platforms. For other tips on searching for a job, visit AARP’s Job Search page.

Be Patient, and Be Optimistic

Being kind to yourself during a great time of stress is equally as important as seeking out these resources. Take breaks to center yourself and know that this pandemic-induced crisis is not permanent. Have patience and remain optimistic about your circumstances. AARP is here to help.

For more financial resources and tips, please visit aarp.org/money.

About AARP New Jersey
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.