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Millions of Americans try to overcome it through unemployment insurance as some states have paused their reopening plans amid spikes in the number of coronavirus cases. In the midst of economic decline, it is not surprising that lawmakers clamor for a second round of checks, according to a CNBC report.

Democrats pushed for the HEROES Act, now stalled in the Senate, although President Donald Trump in recent days expressed support for another round of funding. “We will make another stimulus package. It will be very good. It will be very generous, “Trump said in an interview last week.

However a possible second round would not be approved until the end of July. Also, for some Americans, the amount will not cover all of their expenses if they are unemployed.

Rather than having a second round of encouragement, here are five steps cited by CNBC that you can take on now to pay your bills and create a firmer financial platform, according to money experts.

1-DETERMINE THE SERVICES OF WHICH YOU CAN DISCLAIM

If money is tight right now, start by determining what expenses you can cut, at least temporarily.

In recent months, many Americans have inadvertently spent less because they have been unable to dine in restaurants or shop normally. Those changes can make it easier to analyze what’s essential and nonessential – check out what you bought in March and April because that’s when you were most likely to spend only on the essentials. From there, she breaks down which purchases were critical and which were the least, says Alexandria Cole-Davis, a Maryland-based financial planner for Facet Wealth.

Another way to think about it is to create a “noodle budget,” which is the lowest budget you can live with, says Tiffany Aliche, a personal finance expert and founder of The Budgetnista. To figure this out, imagine you have to eat only Ramen noodles and pay for the basics, like rent and utilities. What is the lowest possible amount you can spend to live each month? That number is your noodle budget.

2. OPTIMIZE HOW YOU SPEND MONEY

This is probably a good time to look at your bills and determine if you are spending too much on something. Most people hire services like cable or Internet when they move, and then years go by without analyzing bills. But it does not hurt to register and see if there are lower priced options.

Personal finance expert Ramit Sethi says there are five types of bills that you probably pay regularly that you should try to cut: cell phone, cable, credit card, student loan, and home. Many of these companies, as well as your utility and auto insurance provider, may have formal financial assistance programs available at this time. But even if they don’t, it’s worth calling them to try to negotiate your current payment or delay payment until a later date.

3. PRIORITIZE YOUR INVOICES

Once you have reduced your expenses, prioritize where the money you have goes. Browse the numerous assistance and deferred payment programs that can be offered by utility companies, cell phone providers, lenders, and homeowners.

There is no point in putting all your savings or your unemployment check on your mortgage if you have a federally backed loan where you can defer payment for six months without accruing fees or interest.

4. FIND WAYS TO EARN MORE

It may seem strange with so many currently unemployed Americans, but there are still creative (and direct) ways to make money right now, even if you’ve been fired due to the pandemic.

You can start an online business or perhaps work in an industry that has not been so affected by coronavirus closures. It is also worth noting that there are currently several strong federal and state programs in place to help Americans recover financially.

But you don’t have to be an entrepreneur to earn extra money. Many shipping providers, grocery stores, food delivery apps, and even retailers are hiring right now. Part-time work could help you close the financial gap while you are looking for a new job in your field or a related industry.

5. SAVE ANY EXTRA MONEY

As expected, experts recommend saving what you can. All the money that you have managed to cut from your budget must go to pay essential bills or savings. “Now, more than ever, having emergency savings is critical,” says Aliche.

It is ideal to have six months of the total savings budget. While that may sound like a large number, you can start small and gradually build a savings mattress to help you cope with the unexpected costs of life.

To read this full story on CNBC, click here

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UN Council rejects Russia bid to limit Syrian aid deliveries

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected a Russian resolution that would have cut back the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria’s mainly rebel-held northwest to just one crossing point from Turkey.

Western countries that voted against the resolution have insisted on keeping the two current crossings from Turkey, with strong backing from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and humanitarian groups. U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock has called the two crossings from Turkey “a lifeline for millions of civilians whom the U.N. cannot reach by other means.”

The Russian resolution needed a minimum of nine “yes” votes in the 15-member council for approval, but Moscow got support from only three other countries — China, Vietnam and South Africa.

Its failure to get the nine votes meant the U.S., U.K. and France didn’t need to consider using their veto. Those three permanent council members voted against the resolution along with Germany, Belgium, Estonia and the Dominican Republic. Four countries abstained — Tunisia, Niger, Indonesia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Russia, Syria’s closest ally, circulated the draft resolution after it joined China on Tuesday in vetoing a draft resolution co-sponsored by Germany and Belgium to maintain aid deliveries through two border crossing points from Turkey for a year. It received 13 “yes” votes.

The current Security Council mandate for U.N. cross-border aid deliveries expires Friday, and Germany and Belgium are expected to circulate a new proposal, likely to authorize the two current crossings from Turkey for six months.

In a joint statement after the vote, Germany and Belgium said that “millions of people are counting on the Security Council to allow for as much humanitarian access as possible ... (and) we will keep on working to this end.”

Whether the differences between the five veto-wielding council members can be resolved in the next 48 hours remained to be seen.

Russia has argued that aid should be delivered from within Syria across conflict lines. But the U.N. and humanitarian groups say aid for 2.8 million needy people in the northwest can’t get in that way.

Moutaz Adham, the Syria director for the humanitarian group Oxfam, called the council’s failure to reach agreement “a devastating blow to the millions of Syrian families who rely on this aid for clean water, food, health care and shelter.”

“Cross-border aid is needed now more than ever, as Syrians face the threat of COVID-19,” he said. “All available avenues for delivering aid will be critical in helping the more than 11 million people in need of assistance across Syria.”

In January, Russia scored a victory for Syria, using its veto threat to force the Security Council to adopt a resolution reducing the number of crossing points for aid deliveries from four to just two, from Turkey to the northwest. It also cut in half the yearlong mandate that had been in place since cross-border deliveries began in 2014 to six months, as Russia insisted.

The defeated German-Belgian resolution had dropped a call for the re-opening of an Iraqi crossing to the northeast to deliver medical supplies for the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said: “Do not waste your time on efforts to reopen the closed cross-border points.”

The German-Belgian resolution would have extended the mandate for the two border crossings from Turkey to the northwest — Bab al-Salam and Bab al-Hawa — for a year.

The Russian-drafted resolution would only authorize cross-border deliveries through the Bab al-Hawa crossing for six months.

Germany’s U.N. ambassador, Christoph Heusgen, said that while the Bab Al-Hawa crossing is used to deliver aid to Idlib province, the Bab al-Salam crossing reaches the region north of Aleppo, where an additional 300,000 Syrians displaced by the last offensive are now sheltering.

“Both areas are separated by conflict lines,” he said.

The Russian draft also injected the issue of U.S. and European Union sanctions into the debate.

China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun on Tuesday blamed unilateral sanctions against Syria for exacerbating the country’s humanitarian situation and urged that they be lifted.

The Russian draft expressed “grave concern” at “the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures,” saying such measures “worsen the socio-economic and humanitarian situations, undermine the livelihoods of civilians, and further compromise the capacity of Syria to ensure access to food, essential health supplies and medical support to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

It asked Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to provide a report on “direct and indirect impact of unilateral coercive measures” on humanitarian deliveries and Syria’s socio-economic situation by Aug. 31.

The United States and the EU have stated repeatedly that their sanctions have exemptions for humanitarian aid.

Germany’s Heusgen said in a statement after the vote that EU sanctions “are exclusively targeted at representatives of the authorities in Damascus” and were introduced “because of the repressive policies of the Assad regime against the civilian population of Syria” and its violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.

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