When you find yourself in the middle of a crisis, adjusting your budget may not be at the top of your to-do list.
But it’s essential you re-evaluate your expenses as soon as possible before the situation turns into a financial crisis as well.
Here are 5 ways you can adjust your budget during a crisis.
Cut Out Non-Essential Expenses
The first thing you should do when emergency strikes is cut out all non-essential spending.
Create a bare-bones budget to determine your necessary expenses.
Compare this number to your savings and income to make sure you’ll be able to keep your lights on and a roof over your head.
Pause Subscriptions and Services
You may have some subscriptions or services like your phone or internet that have contract terms associated with them.
If canceling your services isn’t an option, try to pause them.
Call your providers and see if they’ll let you temporarily stop your subscription.
Most companies will be willing to work with you rather than risk losing your business entirely.
You’re worth more to them as a long term paying customer than a one-time cancelation fee.
You can also explore putting monthly subscriptions or services on hold that you know you’d like to come back to when times are more certain.
It’ll save future hassle and potential setup charges.
Stop Putting Extra Money Toward Debt
Typically, paying off debt should be a top priority.
But, in times of crisis, your main objective should be preserving your cash flow.
You want to make sure you have enough money available to cover your essential expenses.
While it may sting to lose progress by reducing your debt payments, it’s better than being put in a situation to increase your debt or lose your house.
Reduce Your Essential Expenses
We’ve already covered the need to eliminate your non-essential expenses but it’s also a good idea to cut your essential spending if possible.
While food, housing, and transportation are all necessary expenses, there are some ways you can reduce them.
- Save on grocery costs by combining coupons, sales, and cashback apps
- Reduce your fuel needs by pre-planning your trips to combine errands
- Use less energy at home to reduce your electric bill
It’s not always possible, but depending on the severity of the emergency you might need to consider more drastic expense reductions like selling your car, downsizing your housing, or moving to a cheaper area.
Ask for help
As much as you may want to handle things on your own, there are times when asking for help is in your best interest.
Call your lenders, banks, landlords, and service providers to see if they offer hardships programs.
Most companies you do business with will be willing to negotiate or give you some leeway until things are more steady.
If you’ve lost your job, don’t forget that unemployment may also be available to you.
While you may prefer to be self-sufficient, there’s no shame in asking for help to stay afloat and get back on your feet when the situation permits.
These are just a few quick tips that can help you when you’re facing a crisis. If you’re looking for more specific ways to save and manage your money here are some other posts you might like.