As families try to stretch every dollar ABC News' chief economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis joins ABC11 to help you make smart decisions with your money.
A partial transcript follows. For the full interview, watch the interview in the media player above.
As local businesses reopen this weekend across the country, more families are heading out of their homes, how can they keep their strained budgets on track?
You have to realize, what your own family situation is and hopefully, before you go out, you think through your finances at this point. In an ideal world, if you have been struggling as a result of COVID-19 and your finances, whether it's a layoff or fewer hours, you've taken a look at your finances and you've spoken to your lenders.
If you live in a home, for example, and you have a mortgage, there is something called forbearance, which you can ask for everyone is entitled to it under the CARES Act and a number of private lenders have also extended this such that it doesn't impact your credit score and you can get a bit of a grace period before you start making those payments. But keep in mind, your behaviour now as you head back out into the world, even though I'm sure a number of families are eager to return to normal again.
Keep in mind that the economy is still in a very fragile place. So the same things, the same values that you had before: not overspending, don't use your credit card for example or rack up a bunch of debt this weekend, should be things that you adhere to going forward.
Businesses are desperate to have their customers back, will there be any good deals and are there things that we should not spend our money on right now?
I think you're going to see a lot of good deals because businesses are eager to get customers back.
When you spend money, remember what you're using that thing for. I completely appreciate and respect people who want to help those small businesses in their community and I 100 percent applaud that whether it's the restaurants, and the cafes, and the bars or the small retailers that are the lifeblood of your community.
Certainly, extend what you can, but don't overdo it. Remind yourself, that the deals that exist today are very likely going to be there in the coming weeks and months because the reality is that the economy has been through a lot and retailers and restaurants and everybody else are going to be trying to capture your attention right now and as a result of that, it's probably going to be like this for a while.
With the economy being fragile, what do you think is the timeline of economic recovery as we slowly reopen?
There's a couple of big questions here and we still don't have the full answer.
First of all, we know that 41 million people, nearly, over the last nine weeks have lost their jobs, laid off, applied for unemployment insurance. That's one in four working Americans suddenly out of the span of just nine weeks.
What we don't know is how many of those people are going to be immediately rehired as places reopen and part of that is because as businesses reopen, a number are practising social distancing, so they can't have the number, if you're a restaurant, for example, tables sitting in place.
What we also don't know is how the consumer is going to respond, and anyone who is watching this right now can ask yourself, "How do I think of it right now?" I might be concerned about my paycheck or if I'm out of work I'm certainly thinking about my finances differently than I was back in January.
In addition to that, the health questions that the consumer still might be asking themselves can definitely drive our behaviour as consumers and ultimately how we spend if we do or if we don't is going to drive decisions by businesses whether to bring employees back. But what I can tell you, is that as we reopen, you will see an uptick in hiring and the big thing is that we've gone from zero activity to something. And when you go from zero to something, it can look sizeable, the question is how long does that sizeable last and do these companies that have faced so many challenges over the last nine weeks, do they feel stronger in September and January of next year than they do today.
ABC Chief Economics Correspondent talks budgeting, supporting businesses as they reopen
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