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Saving money during tough times and making ends meet

Posted at 3:50 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 02:39:18-04

With the closure of many restaurants, bars, hotel-casinos and other nonessential businesses, there are thousands of people who are now unemployed in the state of Nevada.

While some employers are continuing to pay their employees, that is not true of all of them. Or, the employee may have relied heavily on tips and is only receiving a fraction of their pay now.

Here are some tips on what you can do right away:

1. Contact your creditors

Many banks are encouraging their customers to contact them if they are facing a financial hardship.

2. Many utility companies are offering bill assistance programs, contact them for more information.

NV Energy is providing payment support and temporarily suspending disconnections for non-payment. Click here for more details.

Las Vegas Valley Water District says that it is temporarily suspending customer shutoffs for delinquent and/or non-payment. The LVVWD will continue to work with individual customers and those facing financial hardships to establish payment arrangements and provide other customer services. Customers can visit lvvwd.com for more information or call (702) 870-4194.

RELATED: Experts answer financial questions amid COVID-19 pandemic

City of Henderson Department of Utility Services is temporarily suspending water service shutoffs for Henderson customers that are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers should contact the Customer Care Center at 702-267-5900 or submit requests online here.

Southwest Gas is starting a temporary moratorium on natural gas disconnections for non-payment that is in effect until further notice.

3. Phone and cable companies are also helping out right now.

T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile is offering unlimited smartphone data for customers; addition mobile hotspot/tethering service; additional data to schools and students; and more.

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and Cox have agreed to not terminate service for residential or small business customers for the next 60 days and to waive any late fees incurred due to the economic effects of the virus, and open access to public Wi-Fi hotspots to “any American who needs them.”

CenturyLink is suspending data usage limits, waiving late fees, and will not terminate service for residential or small business customer's for the next 60 days (as of March 17) due to financial circumstances associated with Covid-19.

4. Create an emergency budget. Only spend money on what is absolutely necessary.

5. Consider a personal loan from a bank, credit union of online lender.

6. Prepare a temporary hardship letter for your mortgage company if necessary. Here is an example.

7. If you need food, check with our local food bank Three Square. You can find a list of their emergency food distribution sites here. They will deliver food to those ages 60 and older. h

8. Borrow from your retirement plan. If you have a Roth IRA, you can withdraw your contributions tax and penalty-free (but not any investment gains). If you have a 401K, you might be able to take a loan and could have up to 5 years to repay it.

9. Avoid payday loans if at all possible.