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CERB has been extended….now what?

By Paul Murphy

CERB has been extended….now what?

Introduce the extension and highlight the fact that millions of Canadians are still on it.

There is a huge challenge ahead for the early applicants of the CERB benefit.  It was clear that the benefits would run for a maximum of 16 weeks.  The benefit program runs from March 15 – October 3 but with a maximum benefit of $2,000 per month, for a maximum of 16 weeks. The first applicants will see their support end in early July.  There is a chance this may be extended, but nothing has been confirmed.

Thankfully, many parts of the economy are reopening, and people are starting to return to work. However, for some the CERB payment was actually greater than the income they were earning, and they will be worse off returning to work.  This then becomes a big obstacle for business owners that are asking their employees to return, but they are reluctant to do so if they are still able to claim CERB. The caution in this situation, if you can return to work but chose not to, could this be deemed a form of abusing the system?  Unfortunately, this will not be a consideration for many, as there simply may not  be a job to return to. Don’t wait until the CERB ends, start looking now.  As CERB continues to end for more people, it will become a more competitive for market.

The new financial norm.

Highlight not just CERB recipients but everyone who has had to ‘tighten their belt’….

There are two phrases I think we would all be happy to never hear again – “unprecedented” and ”the new normal”.  But for many, the new financial norm will be positive. We have learnt we can get by with a lot less and there are more important and enjoyable activities than shopping or eating out.

We have been forced to understand the differences between needs and wants.  What was previously murky in this area, has become crystal clear. We now live on a budget and don’t take our job for granted. Some of the key points I’ve personally learned are:

  • The experts are right, having an emergency fund is critical
  • Saving feels better than spending
  • Its okay to say, “No, I cannot afford it”
  • I am lucky to have a job and small businesses really do matter
  • Eating at home can be as enjoyable as eating out. it is the company not the venue
  • It feels good to buy locally and support local small business.
  • Health trumps everything
  • My family are surprisingly fun to hang out with

We are currently making better, smarter financial decisions.  After this is all over, we have a chance to take what we have learned and continue to make financial decisions based on what is really important to us.

Below are some additional articles and resources to help you through these times.

https://www.4pillars.ca/blog/5-reasons-to-deal-with-your-debt-now-vs-using-payment-deferral-programs/

Free eBook ‘Beating the Debt Game’

https://www.4pillars.ca/beating-the-debt-game

By  Paul Murphy