Does COVID-19 have you wondering how to meet your basic needs and still pay your bills? If so, you’re not alone. One-third of adults in Wisconsin said it was difficult to pay for usual household expenses in a recent U.S. Census survey.
The anxiety you may be feeling is normal, especially if your employment or income has been affected by the pandemic. These tips and tools from the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) can help you:
- Take charge of your circumstances
- Make good money choices
- Set a plan for better times
Keep Track of Your Bills
Keeping track of your bills can help you pay your bills on time to avoid late fees. It can also help you change a bill’s due date or set up a reduced payment with a provider.
Track Your Spending
Get a clear picture of where your money comes from and where it goes. This will help you make decisions on how and where to spend money.
Explore ways to cut costs and reduce expenses. This will help you meet your basic daily needs. You may even find ways to save money toward a goal!
Prioritize Your Bills
Can’t pay all your bills on time? Prioritize which ones to pay so you can meet your food, housing, utility, and phone needs. This will also help you prepare for and manage any late penalties.
Use Community Resources
Don’t be afraid to reach out for free help in your community! Here are some free or low-cost places to start:
- UW-Extension Financial Educator – Free!
Get help finding resources and coming up with a personal plan.
- The AFCPE (Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education) – Free!
Get free financial counseling and coaching with a certified professional.
- COVID-19 Financial Distress Helpline from The NFCC (National Foundation for Credit Counseling) – Free or Low-Cost!
Get support for job loss, temporary loss of income, or financial hardship.
- WWBIC (Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation) list of resources - Free!
Explore resources to successfully manage financial obligations during the pandemic.