Help is on the way.
Stimulus checks are popping up in checking accounts across the country. This means you could be getting a financial boost during this very uncertain time during the coronavirus pandemic to help reduce the burden of everyday living.
There are a lot of caveats in the CARES Act that spell out how much each person gets. In general, most individuals are eligible for a $1,200 payment, while married couples who filed their 2019 taxes jointly, will get $2,400. Children under 16 net you an extra $500 per child.
You can end up with a sizable amount of money to help make a dent in your monthly bills. If you’ve lost your job, it may be enough to cover expenses until unemployment kicks into gear. But how far stimulus checks will go is really dependent on where you live.
Covering rent with your stimulus check
Are you a party of one or two? The distance your stimulus check goes to help pay large expenses like rent is dependent on where you live and how much you’re getting. As a single person, you may have enough for one month, with a little left over.
As a couple, or if you’re in a living situation with roommates, you may stretch stimulus checks a little further. Applying the money to rent can help delay the need for rent assistance while giving you a bit of a financial break in covering your usual expenses.
Looking at the average rents in 100 of the most populated cities in the U.S., a single stimulus check will cover a month’s rent in about 38 of them. If you can add up to $100 of your own money, then that number goes up to 46 cities.
If you’re a married couple living in a one-bedroom apartment, there are 88 cities where your check would cover the rent for one, maybe two, months.
- The South takes the lead with the most cities that have an average monthly rent of less than $1,200. Tulsa, OK tops the list with an average one-bedroom costing only $688 a month. Other Southern cities in the top 10 include Lubbock and El Paso, TX, Greensboro, NC and Oklahoma City.
- San Antonio, TX is the most populated city with an average monthly rent less than the standard stimulus check. It just makes the cut at $1,131. This is good news for the percentage of the 1.5 million residents who rent. All of which are patiently waiting for the Alamo, River Walk and authentic Mexican restaurants the city is known for, to reopen.
- For couples sharing a one-bedroom, having double the stimulus checks to apply to rent opens up the ability to live somewhere a little more expensive. Cities like Phoenix, Dallas, New Orleans, Sacramento and Philadelphia all have average monthly rents coming in below $2,400, but above $1,200.
Curious to see where your city lands? This is where your stimulus check will go the furthest in paying rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the 100 most populated cities.
If you happen to live alone in a two-bedroom, not to worry. There are 18 cities out of the 100 most populated in the U.S. that have average monthly rents less than $1,200. If there are two of you picking up the tab, that number jumps to 77 cities.
Number 77 is Atlanta, and at only $2,233 on average for rent, you still have enough left over to order delivery from your favorite restaurant.
- It’s the South and Midwest that offer the best average monthly rent for two-bedroom apartments. Wichita, KS ranks No. 1 with an average rent of only $827. With $2,400 in stimulus money, that’s almost three month’s rent, should you need it.
- Houston is the largest city in the country where two people sharing a two-bedroom apartment can get a month’s worth of rent from their $2,400 in stimulus money. The average two-bedroom apartment there is about $1,650, so you’ll even have money left over.
- Even a little break is better than nothing if you live in the most expensive U.S. cities. Los Angeles, New York, Boston and San Francisco residents can use their $2,400 stimulus checks to pay up to 44 percent of a month’s rent in a two-bedroom apartment.
A second bedroom opens up a lot of space but generally is more expensive. Here’s a look at how much rent relief you’ll get from stimulus checks in the 100 most populated cities.
If you received your previous tax refund through direct deposit, that’s most likely how you’ll get your stimulus check. It’s also the fastest method of delivery, and many people have already had their checks pop up in their accounts.
Making the most of stimulus checks
However you decide to spend your stimulus check, putting it back into the economy in some way is what the money is all about. “The objective of a stimulus package is to reinvigorate the economy and prevent or reverse a recession by boosting employment and spending,” says Adam Hayes from Investopedia.
Whether that means you cover rent, pay your bills, treat yourself to an Amazon splurge or spend a little extra on groceries, putting that money out there helps everyone. Get out there and give the economy a little boost and yourself a break.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory from March 2019 to March 2020. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
Published at Fri, 24 Apr 2020 14:57:31 +0000
The ups and downs of elevator safety during coronavirus.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to roar across the United States and the world, getting the right information to stay safe in every situation can be overwhelming. Normally, having an elevator in your apartment building can feel like a luxury, but during a pandemic, it can quickly become an anxiety-inducing activity.
According to Johns Hopkins research, the coronavirus tends to last longer on frequently touched hard surfaces like elevator button panels vs. soft surfaces like your clothes. Apartment complexes across the U.S. have taken note of this, like Brookfield Management, and regularly clean highly-traffic areas to keep residents safe.
“Our third-party cleaning company cleans all of our common areas twice a week, and they have added the following: disinfecting all door knobs, disinfecting all stair rails, cleaning and disinfecting all basement doors and fully disinfecting all laundry rooms,” says Justin Becker, the owner of Brookfield Management.
Sure, you started taking the stairs more often to walk the dog and go outside, giving you some much-needed exercise. But if you proceed with caution and follow these seven coronavirus elevator safety steps, you can protect yourself (and your neighbors) as much as possible.
1. If you can, take the stairs
Being inside all day can get old — real fast. If you’re an able-bodied person, consider skipping the elevator altogether and taking those stairs. It will help stretch your legs after sitting at your desk all day, it engages multiple muscles in a low-cardio exercise and it improves balance.
Just keep an eye on your hands and don’t touch any doorknobs or handrails. If you can’t push your stair door with your body and must turn the doorknob, bring gloves or use a napkin to turn it. Don’t touch your face or mouth during this time. If there’s another neighbor taking the stairs, step to the side in between flights and wait for them to walk by. It’s important to keep as much distance as possible.
2. Strategize your timing
If you live on a high-rise or can’t take the stairs, that’s OK. You just need to take extra precautions when riding the elevator. If you need to take the dog out for a walk, throw away your trash or hit the mailroom, try to go early in the morning (think 7 a.m.) or late at night, if possible.
By avoiding the busiest times in the elevator, you have the ability to ride alone and not ride in a small space with other neighbors.
3. Wait your turn
Unfortunately, sometimes you have to ride the elevator during peak hours. That’s OK, too! But patience is key during these times. Leave your apartment with a 10- to 15-minute buffer if you can.
When the elevator doors open, and you see two or more riders, skip it. At most, you should only ride the elevator with one other person. Unfortunately, safe elevator ridership is up to individuals and being courteous to others.
If you’re riding alone or with another neighbor and someone new wants to take the elevator, feel free to exit and use the stairs instead. It’s up to you to stay safe and kindness goes a long way during these times.
4. Stand on one side of the elevator
Once inside the elevator, stand on one side. Elevators are not large spaces, but it’s important to stand as far away as possible from the other elevator rider. Since the coronavirus is transmitted through droplets from the mouth, refrain from talking while on the elevator.
If you have to cough for any reason, cover your face with your elbow and turn away from the other person.
5. Wear a mask
Depending on where you live, you may not have access to a proper mask or have the financial means to obtain one. However, you can outfit yourself with a DIY facemask or cover your face with a bandana.
While in the elevator and beyond, make sure you don’t touch your mask or readjust. Don’t remove your mask or face covering until you’re back in your apartment.
6. Use a cloth to press buttons
Outfit yourself with gloves or bring a pen or handkerchief that you can wash later to touch the buttons. Use the handkerchief on the same side every time to prevent skin contact. Don’t touch any buttons or doors at any time with your hands. Bring hand sanitizer with you, as well.
7. Most importantly, wash your hands
Whether you’re going on a walk or simply headed to the mailroom, it’s important to avoid touching any surfaces with your bare hands. If you have gloves, use them. If you accidentally touched something, reach in your pocket and use your hand sanitizer immediately. In the end, nothing replaces washing your hands.
Once you return to your apartment, remove your gloves from the inside (here’s how to do it correctly) and throw them away. Remove your mask from the back (don’t touch the front of the mask) and set it with your laundry. Then wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap to kill the coronavirus.
Stay socially distant and follow coronavirus elevator safety tips
In some buildings, taking the elevator right now is unavoidable. Follow these coronavirus elevator safety tips to protect yourself and your neighbors from coronavirus.
Published at Fri, 24 Apr 2020 12:00:12 +0000