When Your Income Drops

Joy Miller, RD, LD
Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent
Adult Development and Aging
Family Resource Management
K-State Research and Extension
Southwind Extension District
210 S. National
Fort Scott, KS 66701
Office: 620-223-3720
Fax: 620-223-0332
joymiller@ksu.edu

The COVID-19 situation has affected many families. From layoffs and closures to limited schedules, farm markets and potential furloughs, financial strain is a real issue.

A sudden drop in income, no matter the reason, can result in panic and stress when the bills keep coming. Proactively figuring out what you have and developing a plan can help buffer those feelings and take control of your financial position.

K-State Research and Extension recently published “When Your Income Drops”, a series of five fact sheets to help you find your way when your finances have changed.

The first in the series is Don’t Panic — Take Control. It provides basic ‘to do’ tips to minimize financial hardship.

The second one, Making Ends Meet, addresses the five “C’s” to keep in mind when income changes or becomes uncertain. These include control as much of the situation as you can. Claim benefits you qualify for. Communicate with family members and develop a plan together. Don’t ignore, confer with creditors and any company you have financial obligations with. Be prepared to change your lifestyle, at least temporarily, to maintain basic essentials.

Coping with Stress outlines recognizing stress, management tips, and knowing when and where to get help. In Kansas, professional help is available from numerous community agencies and protective services.

Community and Family Resources includes sources of supply, support and aid in Kansas including Unemployment Insurance, Kansas Works, and Legal Services. The fact sheet also includes Kansas organizations that focus on situations specific to farmers including Kansas Ag Stress Resources and the Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services. United Way supports 211, a free and confidential service that helps people across North America find the local resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sharpening Survival Skills focuses on developing a plan, substitutions, conserving, utilizing your talents and times, cooperating to stretch resources, and accessing community resources such as parks, museums, and libraries.

A sudden loss of income can be traumatic, but being proactive by taking stock of where you are financially, investigating potential resources and creating a spending plan can help buffer the shock.

The full series can be downloaded at https://www.southwind.k-state.edu/covid_19_resources/your_money/money%20index.html

For more information, please contact Joy Miller at joymiller@ksu.edu or by calling 620-223-3720. Follow us on Facebook @southwindextensiondistrict.

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