If you’re like most American citizens, the pandemic threw your finances out of whack. Whether you lost your job, worked reduced hours, or became the sole provider in your household, keeping up with the cost of living was challenging. Even though there was some assistance like unemployment and stimulus payments, chances are it wasn’t enough to get you out of the hole you’ve dug.
Now that things are returning to normal, you’re probably wondering how to get things back on track. Continue reading for advice.
Get A Clear Picture
Before you determine how to recover from your financial struggles, you have to discover how much it will take. Although it may be a tough pill to swallow, gather your financial statements and bills to calculate the damage.
Once you know how much you owe, you need to compare it to how much you have. Review your income sources and get a total. Then subtract your monthly expenses. The money you have leftover is all you can use to get things back on track without making matters worse.
Contact Service Providers
Here’s another suggestion that you might find uncomfortable – contacting creditors and service providers. Although you may be behind on your bills, the only way you can sort things out is if you’re honest and come to an agreement. What if I missed my car insurance payment? Talk to your insurance agency about bringing things up to date. They may offer you an extension on the due date or eliminate late fees to make the bill more affordable.
Create Realistic Repayment Plans
As you’re talking to creditors and service providers, it’s essential to keep your budget in mind. You already know what you can afford to reasonably pay without compromising other obligations. Therefore, you should never agree to anything you can’t afford. If you can’t afford the offers they provide, you’ll need to look for other solutions to get your bills paid. Once you set up these arrangements, ensure that you stick to them to avoid further issues down the line.
If you’re committed to getting your finances in order, you’re going to have to make sacrifices. Evaluate your current expenses and spending habits to assess where you might be able to save money or eliminate costs. Ultimately, you might have to skip the morning coffee or find free things to do for entertainment, but it will help you get up to date faster. It may be worth it to contact local tax professionals to make sure you’re filing and claiming everything appropriately.
Unfortunately, some people fell so far into debt during the pandemic that they can’t climb out without assistance. The good news is there are several options available. You can look into a debt consolidation loan to restructure credit cards and other unsecured debts. You can enroll in government-assisted programs to assist with mortgage payments, rental fees, healthcare coverage, or childcare as you get back on your feet.
Increase Your Earnings
If your income isn’t enough to get you out of financial trouble in a short timeframe, you may need to increase your earnings. You can ask your employer about taking on extra hours or applying for a promotion. You can sell things you no longer need at a yard sale. Finally, you could start a side gig like a rideshare or delivery service to bring in extra cash. Whatever money you bring in, just ensure that you apply it to your outstanding debts and bills.
The coronavirus pandemic was a shock for everyone. It resulted in changes to everyday life that were challenging to overcome. At the top of the list was affording the cost of living while being unemployed, underemployed, or the sole provider. Many people fell behind on their rent, mortgage, credit cards, car insurance, and other necessities. As the world begins to reopen, it’s essential to get things back on track. By using the suggestions listed above, you can get your finances under control, ease your stress, and get back to living the life you once enjoyed.