Maintaining Financial Control In Uncertain Situations
Take control of your finances during unsettling times.
Experiencing a loss of income or unexpected increase in expenses can be overwhelming, causing stress that can interfere with one's overall health and well-being. If you have suddenly been faced with a change in your financial situation, it is important to immediately take action to avoid falling further into financial hardship.
Here are a few suggestions that can help you feel more in control of your finances:
If you have experienced a loss of income or a sudden increase in your expenses, immediately reevaluate your financial situation to determine what expenses take priority. For many people, these expenses would include your basis needs such as rent/mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, medical needs and other essentials. Calculate the total cost of your priority expenses against your current household income. While you may find your income no longer supports your expenses, having an understanding of the cost of your priority expenses is the first step to overcoming your situation and will help ease your anxiety.
Now that you have a good understanding of what your priority expenses are, take some time to determine how much you are spending on non-essential expenses, such as cable/streaming services, dining out, entertainment, etc. These are your most flexible expenses and the first areas in your budget where you should look to reduce or eliminate. Whatever money you can free up can be allocated toward your priority expenses.
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Any assistance you can receive to help you get through your hardship is essential. There are programs out there that could offer you options or assistance with your priority expenses, including hardship programs that may temporarily relive you of debt or loan payments. If you are uncertain where to go for help, reach out to one of Navicore Solutions' financial counselors who will provide you with resources and information to ensure you get the assistance that you need.
You may also want to reach out to your friends and family for help as well. Perhaps a family member may be willing to babysit your children so that you can reduce childcare expenses or a friend may be able to give you a ride to work to avoid transportation expenses. Any help you can receive, big or small, will ease your financial burden.
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When faced with uncertainty, it can be difficult to stay positive; however, excessive worrying will not improve your situation. By having the best understanding of your finances, and developing a plan to overcome your hardship, you will be sure to get back on track. Maintaining a positive, flexible and determined mindset will help you to maintain control in uncertain financial situations.
Lauren Lovett has been with Navicore Solutions for over 15 years serving as a Certified Credit Counselor, and currently as the Director of Grant Development. While in these roles, she has witnessed the positive impact that the organization’s counseling services has on improving the money management skills and housing security of individuals and families in need.