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Budget considerations during challenging times

If your household income has been affected by unemployment, now is the perfect time to sit down and figure out where your money needs to go with what money you are bringing in. 

Rent/Mortgage – Talk to your landlord if you aren’t getting paid in full, he may be willing to help out. But remember, he has bills to pay as well.  If you have a mortgage, reach out to your mortgage company to see what they can offer. Even if you get a break on things for a few months, it’s likely you’ll eventually have to pay this amount IN FULL.  Don’t get behind.

Utilities – You need to “keep the lights on” more now than ever, but this might be a good time to look into your utility providers’ budget plans.  This will allow you to make lower, consistent payments each month with a “catch up” payment due once or twice a year.  Also, if you’ve been thinking about “cutting the cable”, now might be a perfect time to investigate lower cost options for those services.

Food – If you’re at home more these days, chances are you are spending more on food.  If you aren’t doing it currently, check out your grocery store’s online shopping.  Not only will it stop those in-store impulse buys, but you can save time AND money as well!
Packaged snacks are costly, so replace them with home-made options.  An occasional (but budgeted-for) carry-out meal is a great treat that might give the at-home chef a much needed night off.

Credit Cards – Make sure you are making at least the minimum payment each month, and do it ON TIME.  Don’t let your credit score take a hit now because of late fees and late payments.  And don’t apply for new cards to charge your living expenses on right now, especially if money is tight.  Remember, they will likely carry high interest rates if not paid in full each month.

Medical Costs – If you’ve had some unexpected medical bills, make sure to talk with your provider about handling the out-of-pocket costs to you.  As long as you are paying something each month, they won’t turn you in to collections, which also dings your credit.

Garage Sale/Charitable Donations – Now might be the perfect time to clean out the closets and see if your items can be worth some cash!  With the weather warming up, see if others in your neighborhood want to do a community sale to get some extra money.  If that’s not something you want to do, don’t let that stop your cleaning!  Charitable donations of clothing, household items, and even cars can be a great way to save on next year’s taxes with your receipts.

Taking care of you is important during this time.  Having a plan that relieves your stress level when it comes to money is important to your peace of mind.  Still worried about things?  We’re here to help.  Email or call Cindy Walker at 614-340-1737 to set up an appointment to go over your finances and take a deep breath.  We’re here to help.



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