AMANDA CHRISTENSEN, AFC, USU EXTENSION ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
STACY ABBOTT, M.S., USU EXTENSION PROGRAM COORDINATOR
A short-term loss of income can be devastating. There are steps you can take to look ahead and plan how to weather the storm. Read through the four steps below then download the FREE printable: What To Do When Your Income Drops: Four Steps to Create a Short-Term Plan and fill in your answers. This process will help you inventory, brainstorm, and create a short-term plan to get back on your feet. Keep reading for Step 1...
STEP 1 INVENTORY: Begin by “inventorying” your 1) monetary and human capital, and community resources and your 2) fixed, flexible, and occasional expenses.
STEP 2 BRAINSTORM: Next, use your inventory list to brainstorm ideas under each of the three sections listed below. Include a spouse/partner and family members who may need to be involved. Brainstorming can be a powerful tool to help you adapt and be innovative. During the brainstorm write down ALL ideas. Step 3 is where you can narrow down and choose your exact plan of action to move forward.
STEP 3 MAKE A SHORT-TERM PLAN: Your next step is to make a short-term plan to adjust to your loss of income that includes the current resources available to you (Step 1), and the ideas you’ve brainstormed (Step 2). Choose options based on your immediate need. Prioritize your expenses by order of importance: food, shelter, transportation, utilities, phone, insurance, essential medications, etc. There are questions in Step 3 that may help you as you make your plan.
STEP 4 REVISE AND MAINTAIN: Revisit and revise your plan regularly until things stabilize. Repeat the three previous steps as additional information and resources become available. The four-step process will get easier each time you repeat and revise. Lastly, as you move into the maintenance phase, and your financial situation improves, continue to make purposeful decisions and prioritize purchases. Now is also a good time to replenish resources like your emergency fund, food storage and other savings.
DOWNLOAD: What To Do When Your Income Drops: Four Steps to Create a Short-Term Plan
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