Dealing with insufficient income due to a job loss is tough in this economy. However, when there is a head of household on disability, it can cause additional strain and hardship to an already tight household budget. Here are five financial tips to deal with insufficient income when the breadwinner suffers from an illness or injury.
Confirm Healthcare Coverage
Unexpected medical expenses are the leading causes of financial hardships. Contact the health insurance company to determine if and how much of the medical expenses are covered. Healthcare related expenses like copays, deductibles and co-insurance can add up to thousands of dollars. Understanding your family’s financial responsible, as well as “what is” and “what is not” covered, will help your family budget better or at least minimize unexpected medical expenses.
Reduce or Cut Unnecessary Expenses
The best way to survive a significant household income reduction is to reduce or cut unnecessary expenses. Eliminating budget-busting expenses like dining out, premium cable, expensive cell phone plans or daily trips to the coffee shop may save hundreds of dollars a month. Making necessary spending adjustments early will ease the pain of temporary insufficient income.
Avoid Using Credit Cards
Using credit cards may seem like a good idea to fill in the financial gaps of a head of household on disability. However, using credit cards can make your financial situation worse by increasing your debt, in the long run. It may end up causing more stress later when the collection calls begin if you are not able to make the monthly payments.
Avoid Hiding from Creditors
When going through a temporary financial hardship of insufficient income, avoid hiding from creditors. Explain your situation and ask about a hardship program. Most creditors may be able to work out payment arrangements to help you through a temporary situation.
Ask for Help
When the breadwinner is ill or injured, the recovery and required care can be stressful for the entire family. Adding the additional expenses and reduction of income can be overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Contact nonprofit organizations, like CESI Solutions, to help you work out a debt management plan with your creditors. If you have trouble paying your mortgage, contact your local Foreclosure Prevention Center for assistance. Or, ask your close family and friends for money to help you get over this temporary situation.
Dealing with insufficient income when the breadwinner suffers an illness or injury requires cooperation from the entire family. Keeping the lines of communication open in the family during this stressful time will not only help you get through some challenging times, but it may also bring you closer together.
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Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY