What to do when there is a sudden loss in income

We all know that there are times when a major event occurs and affects our income.  Someone is sick and unable to work,  a bad injury, you get laid off or lose your job, or even a death of a significant other.  Unfortunately, We are facing one of these right now and it is extremely stressful.  No one ever expects for these things to happen and if you don’t plan for it, you can be in a tough situation.


So what do you do when this happens?  Personally,  I either bake something and eat it all, or I drown my sorrows in a pint of ice cream.  But then I pick myself up and focus on what is important.

  1. Mortgage or rent: You HAVE to have somewhere to live. This is one of top priorities.  Do everything in your power to make your payments on time, every month.  If you expect that you will be late, talk with your bank or landlord BEFORE the due date and maybe you can work something out.
  2. Utilities:  This is another MUST have on the list.  Let’s go down a list of things you need utilities to do… shower, cook, wash your clothes, heat your home, wash your dishes, etc.  BASIC DAILY FUNCTIONS!  Utilities include your electric, propane, gas, and water bills.  Stay current on them and again, if you know you are going to be late, contact them before the due date.  Companies are more willing to work with you if you communicate with them then if you just don’t pay and don’t contact them.
  3. Food:  Food is essential to live.  However, eating out and junk food are not.  Trim your food budget down and make some sacrifices.  Shop at discount food stores, buy generic, or do a pantry challenge.  If your income is severely impacted, apply for SNAP and visit food banks.  Those are resources that are available to help people when they need it.  If you need help, ask for it.
  4. Clothing: This can be debated so I’m going to make it very simple.  Only buy what you NEED!  If you can get by on what you have, then don’t buy anything.  If the seasons have changed and all of a sudden your child doesn’t have season appropriate clothes that fit, then you need to go clothes shopping.  IF you need to shop for clothing, consider where you will go.  Garage sales, goodwill, and consignment shops will be lower cost than Macy’s or Nordstrom.  Ask family members and friends if they have any clothes that their kids may have outgrown and you may get a new wardrobe for free.

These 4 things are necessities to live every day.  Focus on the basic needs and then you can expand beyond them and cover other non-essentials.

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