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 …
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 (what you owe). Preparing a
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 …
Sources of Stress
- Prices rise but your income stays the same
- Cut‐backs, layoffs, or other restructuring creates job instability
- You feel frustration with family members’ spending or debt
- You have medical, automobile or household expenses that pile up
- An unexpected event or crisis creates money problems for the family (illness, death, divorce, etc.)
Take Care of Your Body
Try to eat a healthy and balanced diet.
Take time for an enjoyable physical activity to relieve stress.
Get enough sleep. We …
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, …
Think about the type of skills or equipment you have that others may need. Can you change the oil in their car? Make a birthday cake? Clean their gutters?Consider that your time may be helpful to others if you have free time when they do not. You can find odd jobs in the classifieds section of local newspapers or web sites like Craig’s List.
Trading goods or services with others may not yield cash, but it …
When the money gets tight, it is important to know what resources you have. Resources can be described as assets (time, money, energy), materials, or capital (other funds) which can be used to accomplish your goal.
What are your financial resources?
• Make a list of all of your assets, or everything that you own.
• Distinguish between financial assets (bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, etc.) and physical assets such as cars, home, or personal possessions.
• Which financial assets …
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.
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 …
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 …