Budgeting is a must now that you are faced with possibility of losing your job or had already lost your job. By learning how to budget, you will stretch your money and be able to deal with your financial obligations.
I know it is a daunting task to face. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and having an anxiety attack because the reality suddenly hit me. I am out of a job! To get a handle on my finances I know I have to take drastic steps. Below are some of tips to help you:
To start the process, write down all your living expenses, bills, mortgage and associated expenses, and everything that you pay every month in the order of importance.
Make a list of how much savings you have, how much money will be coming in, i.e., severance pay, unemployment, any money coming from your employer sponsored plan that will be disbursed as a result of your termination. This way you will know how much you can expect to have on a monthly basis and to be able to determine if you can meet all of your financial obligations.
Review all your expenses and determine which ones are absolutely necessary and which ones can be cut. Set aside a budget for all your necessary expenditures. Cut the unnecessary expenditures to save money. It is amazing how even small changes such as foregoing the regular run to Starbucks for an iced coffee or minimizing the stop to get fast food can help. These are small steps in the right direction.
I remember picking up my daughter from school and she asked to stop at Starbucks or sometimes some fastfood chain. I always ask her if it is really necessary or if it is something she can do without. If it is not necessary, then we don't buy it. It is my way of just getting to the basics of what we need so we can survive the financial challenge we face today.
Call your lenders if you believe you will be unable to meet your financial obligations. Request for assistance, i.e., delay payment for x # of months, reduce monthly payment, or freeze interest rate of your loan or credit cards.
Lenders will normally work with you if they know you lost your job and you are trying to meet your financial obligation.
If you have a substantial student loan, contact your lender and ask for a deferment or forbearance. As long as you can substantiate financial hardship, most lenders will work with you until you can get back on your feet and be able to make payment.
Contact your mortgage company and request for a loan modification. If you are not successful dealing with them directly, contact your local HUD authorized non-profit organization who can facilitate getting the help you need to modify your loan.
If you are having problem with your mortgage lender and are unsuccessful getting your loan modified, you can file your complaint with Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight. This office collects information, monitor how lenders are treating homeowners and see patterns that could show violation of the global settlement. While this office will not intervene between you and the lender, they need to know which bank like Bank of America does not live up to the intent of the agreement. This was my experience with Bank of America and I am pursuing all avenues to resolve my issue with them.
There are many resources out there that you can tap into to help you with managing your financial resources. From reading financial magazines like Money to the Finances section in Yahoo or MSN or Google Finance or taking a financial class in your local adult school. Some of these sites have calculators to help you determine your budget.
The sooner you do it, the better you will feel since you will know where you stand with your finances.
In addition to learning how to budget, it is also important to learn how to save your limited financial resources. There are many resources online that can provide you with money saving tips.
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