Dealing with Expenses During a Financial Setback

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Financial setbacks come in all shapes and sizes.  Long-term, short-term regardless of what happens in our life’s ventures we roll with the punches.  At least that’s what we tell ourselves.  When life has thrown my family and I a curve ball I go into conserve mode.  I have put together actions I’ve taken when I’m in need of cutting back expenses.

A financial setback occurs long-term and short-term and sometimes when we least expect them. Cutback expenses and call your providers.

Cable TV

Cancel or Suspend your cable or dish service when you encounter a financial setback.  If you don’t want to cancel your cable service entirely, you may have the option to suspend it.  My family and I have been with DIRECTV for more than ten years, and I have called and interrupted my service for various reasons.  They allow you to suspend your account for as long as six months.   You can set a date to restart your service when you interrupt the account.

Cell Phone

Trim down your cell phone bill.  Before you are late on your cell phone bill, contact your provider right away.  A representative should be able to review your plan and assist you in eliminating any add-on services or upgrades that you don’t need.  I have done this with T-Mobile and Verizon.  If you’ve been with your provider for an extended period, they are typically apt to keeping you as a customer in good standings.

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Grocery Bill

Limit eating out and buy affordable groceries.  Buy generic groceries instead of name brand groceries, plan your weekly meals, and order online with free pickup or shipping service.  Ordering your groceries for pickup has proven to cut my grocery bill.  I am not tempted to purchase food or items that I don’t need.  Also, I don’t buy nearly as much junk food, and I save time.  Many name brand stores in my area are offering these services for free.

Medical Expenses

Medical bills can be paid in payments.  Even if you have a medical premium that you pay every month, you may have copays or other items due.  Most healthcare companies will strategize a payment plan for you.  Find out if your medical provider offers financial aid in addition to their payment plans.  If your income has significantly decreased, you may qualify for financial assistance.

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Student Loans

When financial setbacks strike, it feels as though you have every monthly bill that there is even if you don’t.  If you know that your situation is short-term, you may want to consider a student loan deferment or forbearance.  If you believe your financial setback to be long-term, you can request an income-driven repayment plan.  Like all other providers, the U.S. Department of Education would rather you act quickly than to wait until your situation has not made it possible to adjust.  Contact your loan servicer and find out what your options are.

Bottom Line is don’t be afraid to ask any of your providers for help during a financial setback.  Most providers will try to assist you during your setback.  Consider your options carefully and cut back on expenses you don’t need.  Apps like Ibotta can be used every time you shop.  They provide cash back on grocery shopping, retail, restaurants, clothing stores, and more.

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