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Financial Preparedness: When Hardships Happen
At Home with UAEX Team Email: AtHomeWithExtension@uada.edu
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Learn from the best Extension Educators on being at home with UAEX!
by Millie Collins, Cross County
Financial woes come in various forms: a layoff or reduction in hours, divorce, disability,
death of a family member...the list is long. In any given 10-year period, approximately
25% of families will need financial assistance for a short time. Loss of income is
central to life; the emotions felt are a normal part of loss and recovery.
There are circumstances you CAN control when income is reduced. Here are some basic
steps to take:
THINK – Look outside the box. Don’t be brand conscious. Avoid shopping as an emotional boost.
REORGANIZE – Accept your current situation as your new normal and begin to regroup. List all income
sources and look for potential earners in the family or potential second jobs. Record
the current market value of what you own and consider selling some items.
REGAIN CONTROL – Learn the difference in wants vs. needs. Reduce the household budget to basic needs.
Set priorities for paying bills. Maintain good health and remember to relax and have
fun with your family. Don’t neglect healthy living. Communicate honestly with other
PAY BILLS – List your bills from most important to least important. Prioritize as follows:
Ask for the publication, “Living Resourcefully with Reduced Income”, #FSFCS132 from the county Extension office. If you need further assistance with
making a spending plan or communicating with creditors, go to www.UAEX.UADA.edu for additional resources or contact the Family and Consumer Science agent in your county.