This blog post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a commission at no cost to you. Learn more.
Sadly the coronavirus and stay at home orders have completely destroyed businesses like mine. I’ll admit it, I cried..a few times. It took a while but I finally got to the place where I was able to focus on what I can do now.
While there are many options for this topic, I’m not going to talk about everything that has been shared a lot. Instead, I’ll focus on the things you may not have thought about. Also, several tips to file for self-employed unemployment faster.
3 Ways pet sitters can save money during the coronavirus pandemic
1. Change your website hosting to SAVE up to $500! Currently, they have hosting plans for as little as $5.95 p/mo and you can lock in that rate for up to three years!
Here is how you would get huge savings. For example, if you currently pay $20 p/mo that cost over the next 3 years would be $720. By switching your hosting, you would pay $214 for 3 years which would result in saving you $506!!! While 3 years has the biggest savings, you can sign up for 1 year.
This hosting service has been rated #1 in reviews and in several polls where business owners clearly showed it was their preferred hosting company. All hosting plans offer features such as 24/7 support, daily backups of your website, give you a free SSL certificate to secure your website, and a Free CDN which helps your pages load faster.
Additionally, there are some other features in the middle or top hosting packages. Some of those features are staging, and professional website transfer. Staging means it makes a copy of your website where you can make your changes behind the scenes before going live.
Have you ever updated a plugin and it “broke” your website? Testing it in staging first would prevent that hassle.
Finally, professional website transfer is great for people who are afraid they wouldn’t know what to do or even where to begin. With this feature, a team member will do the transfer for you!
2. Insurance: a) Is your car insurance based on mileage? Perhaps you can contact them to see if you can lower your insurance since you are not driving as much or at all. Update: some insurance companies have stated they will give customers an average of 15% money back for April and May and you may be able to put your payments on hold temporarily and b) Renters insurance: Some offer a discount if someone is home all day.
3. Income taxes: This strategy is for people who have not paid their 2019 taxes yet. It is not a saving strategy per se but it helps you keep as much money as you can in your pocket. You could apply for an installment plan when filing your taxes. The installment plan will allow you to make monthly payments to pay back your taxes. In the past, I was told yes even if it was a small amount like thirty dollars. From there, the money owed will incur a small interest fee. For me, that was a no brainer since it was way cheaper than paying them with a credit card.
3 ways dog walkers can earn money during the stay-at-home order
1. Sign up for affiliate programs: They have hundreds of merchants to choose from to help you get started!
It is the perfect time to sign up since so many people are shopping online right now. Another reason is you will still have this income when this is all over.
I think it is a good idea to have multiple streams of income because in our industry if you don’t work, you don’t get paid.
I am considering offering a coaching service since I know there is a lot to learn about how to make money with affiliates. Not only that but how to not get kicked out of the program. Yes, there are rules.
I can tell you the first year I did this I made no money. Zero! Then I invested countless hours searching the internet and taking courses. I can happily say I have replaced lost income from “dailies” who started working from home or moved away.
Finally if you are considering becoming an affiliate, you ARE going to want a fast loading website or you will lose sales!
2. New product or service: Is there something you do as a hobby or made as a gift and it received good feedback? Think back to those homemade Christmas or Employee Appreciation gifts. Now maybe the time you could sell them to friends, clients or put it on Etsy. A lot of businesses have been built out of necessity and in recessions.
3. Get paid $1k to binge watch tv: Yes you can earn $1000 binge-watching The Office, well potentially since it’s a contest. Different companies have offered contests, one was for people to win $1000 watching Netflix Ozark. Unfortunately, the contest for the Ozark is over but The Office contest is still going on. I think it was a genius was to marry things together. They are promoting their business while asking people to do what they are already doing like binge-watching TV and having video conference parties.
Now that you have a few ideas of how to save and make money, below I will address common questions I saw about unemployment for self-employed people.
Unemployment is open to self-employed people and it is retroactive!
The CARES act has included self-employed people to be covered by unemployment. Here is what the CARES act says “Benefit payments under PUA are retroactive, for weeks of unemployment, partial employment, or inability to work due to COVID-19.”
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is a 2 part check, State + Federal. 1) The state unemployment will be retroactive to when you first become unemployed during the Coronavirus epidemic. 2) The extra $600 is retroactive to March 29, 2020. Why? Unemployment benefit weeks are Sunday through Saturday and the 29th is the first Sunday after it was signed into law which was March 27th. Therefore the first time you will see this additional benefit to your check will be the week ending April 4th.
Keep in mind, any money you earn from things like self-employment or affiliate income will likely count against your unemployment. However, it may only impact it in a small way. According to the CA Unemployment website, if your earnings are $100 or less a week, the first $25 does not apply. Each state may have a different amount you can earn before they deduct it from your weekly check. Finally, the money is reported on the week earned not the week paid. I mention this because many affiliate programs, not all, will pay you once a month.
5 Tips to help self-employed people fill out the California PUA application easier
California PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) is the unemployment option for self-employed people that will start accepting applications on April 28, 2020. *If you filed earlier because you were worried about money, you may have a different process since you already have an application on file.
2 Tips to follow BEFORE you start your application. 1) Create and verify your account. You need this account before you start your application, 2) Have information ready such as your net income from your most recently filed taxes.
3 Tips to know While filling out the unemployment application: 1) Take screenshots as you go through each screen so you will have any information you may need. I read so many comments on social media asking questions that were addressed while filing. 2) The application is very particular! It is case sensitive in certain areas and using the tab button vs. the enter button may work better. Why? It will throw an error if any box is empty. 3) Occupation: you can’t type it right in the box, you have to use the search feature and then type your occupation. I tested it only to find that pet sitter did not come up as an option. I typed Animal and then it gave me options to choose from.
Contact EDD for assistance. There are several phone numbers you can call but each number can only assist you with certain aspects of your claim.
- 866-333-4606: an automated phone line that can help you file a new claim or reopen an existing claim. *open 24/7
- 833-978-2511: help with general questions, technical support such as registration help, or password reset. Open: Mo-Su 8 am – 8 pm. *Representatives do NOT have access to your claim information.
- 800-300-5616: assistance in filing a claim by phone or getting payment information. *Open M-F: 8 am – 12 pm
The CA Labor Facebook page addresses many questions in updates and live videos.
I hope this gave you some ideas and decreased your stress a little.
Comment below to tell me what strategies you will use or if you would be interested in affiliate coaching.