When Your Income Drops

Losing a job or otherwise experiencing a loss of income is a challenge in the best of times. In the current economy, it is essential to MAP OUT a plan to get back on your feet again. The PowerPoint presentation, fact sheets, and activities below are designed to help you MAP OUT your plan.

When Your Income Drops

Debt Management in Tough Times

Debt management involves developing one or more strategies to help a debtor get that debt under control.

 

Should you shop for a lower interest rate on your debt?

• This can be a good option, if it substantially reduces your monthly payments and the refinancing is not too costly. Inquire whether other higher cost debts can be rolled into the lower cost loan.

What if you can’t pay your bills

• Prioritize your debt. Keeping a roof over your head …

Stretch Your Grocery Dollars

sunset shopping cart

Planning Shopping Trips

• Keep a pad and pencil handy for jotting down foods as they run low. Encourage all family members to add to the list.

• Don’t shop with a hungry or tired child, or when you are hungry.

At the Store

• Stick to your shopping list; avoid impulse purchases. However, watch for “in store” specials that you know you can use.

• When buying a food for the first time, buy a small amount in case …

Stretch Your Food Dollars at Home

Prevent Food Waste

• Cut down on the amount of food you throw away; freeze leftovers or use them in recipes like soups or casseroles. aInstead of thinking “leftovers” – think “planned overs.” Have a plan to use excess food from one meal, whether by using it within a few days or freezing it for the future.

• Take leftovers for lunch instead of eating out. Store properly to keep foods safe to eat.

• Before buying an unfamiliar food, …

Building an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is money set aside in a readily accessible savings account for unanticipated events such as unemployment, medical bills, and car repairs. A sum of money to cover basic living costs for three to six months is recommended.

 

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Accumulating Liquid Assets

• These are assets that can be easily converted to cash.

• The majority of these funds should be in accounts that have easy access, like checking accounts.

• Regular or passbook savings and money market accounts …

Freeing Up Money from Services

Worried man and woman.

Utility Budget Plans

You can work with your service provider so that your monthly bill is based on an average of the previous year’s monthly bills. This is usually called “level billing.”

However, if you exceed the budgeted amount, you could end up owing money at the end of the current year or your fixed payment will increase next year. In some cases, a utility company may make an adjustment during the year, if useage is greatly exceeding the estimated …

What is Your Net Worth?

A net worth statement, sometimes called a financial statement, measures wealth or how much we are worth – at one point in time.

 

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What are your assets? Assets include cash and other items of value that can be converted to cash. Some assets are more difficult than others to convert to cash. Be careful not to overvalue personal belongings, such as televisions and furniture as these often lose value over time.

 

• How much do you have in cash or …

Things You Can Do When Money Is Short

THINGS YOU CAN DO WHEN MONEY IS SHORT

older couple biking


  • Think about things you have been spending money on that you can do without – movies,magazines, music, gas, sodas, etc.
  • Think about ways to earn money – baby-sitting, pet sitting, mowing lawns, delivering papers, etc.
  • Think about ways to stretch the money your family does have – sew or mend clothing,garden, baby-sit for younger brothers and sisters, prepare meals, etc.
  • Turn off the lights, television, stereo, and other small appliances.
  • Take shorter

Keeping a Roof Overhead

KEEPING A ROOF OVERHEAD

Keeping a roof overhead is an important concern
when your income drops. If you rank your bills in
order of priority, chances are housing is at or near
the top of the list.

When you are under the financial stress of reduced
or lost income, one of the biggest expenses is
housing. Housing expenses include mortgage or
rent payments, insurance, taxes, household
maintenance and repair, utility bills, furnishings,
and cleaning supplies.

When income drops, careful planning …

Controlling Spending

CONTROLLING SPENDING

When the family faces reduced income, take
immediate action to stop all excess spending.
Whether your situation is temporary or extended,
you need to get the most for your money.

Studies have found that many families do not
adjust their lifestyle for about six months after
their income is reduced. That six months of
ignoring the situation can bring disaster. When
you take charge of your financial situation
immediately, you are making a positive
contribution to your family’s …