Money Talks News: Dealing with an income emergency

Money Talks News: Dealing with an income emergency
(Source: Money Talks News)

Money Talks News - Some people may be seeing a rebound in their personal economy. But others are still facing downsizing and work hour reductions.

"I was having trouble sleeping when I lost the hours and just had to get a credit card and I didn't want to use it," Customer Service Representative Brian Watson said.

If you have never been in Brian Watson's position, you know someone who has. A sudden loss of income left him fighting for financial survival.

It is times like his that you have got to tighten that financial belt and you have got to do it fast. But you can make this work, if you take it step by step.

Step one? Assess your situation. Take stock of your income, your bills and your savings.

If you see you are not going to make it, turn to a non-profit credit counseling agency for some free help.

Step two: See where your money is going now, then look for ways to save.

For example, food. Take a bite out of bills by cooking at home, bringing lunch to work and doing potlucks with friends instead of restaurants.

Another place to trim: Transportation. Carpool, walk or ride your bike more. Do whatever you can to use that car less.

"I started combining trips, which allowed me to decrease the amount of gas that I used in a month," Watson said.

Next step involves those monthly expenses. Your utilities, cable, cell bill: These are small, but they add up. Look at each one individually and see where you can cut.

For Watson, little changes worked. He is now back on his feet.

"I've been able to avoid using the credit card and racking up any debt," Watson explained. "So that's a pretty good feeling."

Bad things happen to good people every day. That is why you always need two things: An emergency fund and firm grip on your finances.

You can gain more tips and help by visiting the Money Talks News website and doing a search for "Savings."

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