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 …
A net worth statement, sometimes called a financial statement, measures wealth or how much we are worth – at one point in time.
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 …
TEACHING CHILDREN COPING SKILLS
Children are capable of learning and utilizing coping skills that will help them through difficult situations. Adults frequently become so preoccupied they forget that tough times have an emotional as well as a financial impact on their children. Children depend on their parents for emotional security. When parents are tense, upset, and inattentive, it disrupts the flow of normal activities.
Losing a job or income affects all members of the family. It can mean sudden lifestyle …
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 can help you…
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 well-being …
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 …