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 …
MEETING YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS
When your income or personal situation changes,
review your insurance coverage. If your income
decreases because of a layoff, illness, disability,
divorce, or death of a breadwinner, you may find it
extremely difficult to pay insurance premiums. If
this happens, you should first determine your
minimum needs for insurance. Then, call or write
your agent to check into a different payment plan
that allows you to keep your coverage. Or,
investigate plans with lower premiums.
COPING WITH STRESS
Unexpected income changes are among the most
stressful events a person can experience.
Unemployment, a disaster, divorce, or the death of
someone you love can be personally devastating
and can trigger the same reactions.
Personal Crises Are Stressful
In a personal crisis, you may feel tense and angry.
You may have mood swings and find yourself
lashing out at others. Feelings of frustration can
lead to family arguments. You may feel depressed
and discouraged. These feelings may …
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 …
DECIDING WHICH BILLS TO PAY FIRST
When you do not have enough money to cover your family’s basic living expenses and pay all your creditors, you face some difficult financial decisions.
When family income is reduced, your spending habits must change. The sooner you change, the more likely your financial problems can be lessened. Your family should be part of the decision-making process, since their cooperation is essential to carry out the plans.
When your bills exceed the money available …
STRETCHING YOUR FOOD DOLLAR
Grocery shopping can be a real challenge,
especially if you are on a limited budget. However,
food is a flexible budget expense which can be
reduced when money is tight. By planning ahead
and managing your money wisely, you can still serve
meals which are appetizing, easily prepared, and
Food Shopping Starts at Home
Most of us can change our food spending habits in
ways that make each food dollar go further and still
Sometimes unforeseen events in life challenge us. Regardless of the reason, you need to take charge during these challenging times.
SIZING UP YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION
Sometimes unforeseen events in life challenge us. They may include unemployment, downsizing, a disability, natural disasters, divorce, or widowhood. Regardless of the reason, you need to take charge during these challenging times. When faced with reduced income or increased expenses, you need to develop a spending plan to help pay your bills. If your income …
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 …
MAKING THE MOST OF WHAT YOU HAVE
When your family income drops suddenly or
expenses unexpectedly increase, your first concern
may be how to pay your bills and meet your day-today
expenses. It is also important to look at your
total financial picture and determine which assets
you might use to meet family obligations.
Determining Your Net Worth
A net worth statement is a financial balance sheet.
It is a calculation of your assets (what you own)
minus your liabilities …
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 …