ICFE eNEWS #20-03 - March 2019
Things To Do If You Miss A Paycheck
By Dave Ramsey
Presented by Jim Garnett, a/k/a Ask Mr.G, a member of the ICFE's Board of Educational Advisors
I just received a very helpful communiquť from the Dave Ramsey
people that I want to pass on to you. I want to give him full
credit for its content. You can find this article and many other
really practical financial helps at www.DaveRamsey.com. Hereís
his good advice.
ďCoronavirusóaka COVID-19. It has
flooded our social media, nightly news, and has even made its
way into some of our communities. It goes without saying that
this thing has created mass hysteria and panic across the globe.
But if youíre looking for that hereóyou wonít find it.
We havenít lost our hope, and you
shouldnít either. Weíre going to get through this, folks.
Emotions are running high surrounding the coronavirus, and it
feels like thereís so much uncertainty. But you donít need to
live in fear.Ē
Yes, this virus has impacted all of us, whether itís by coming
down with the sickness itself, becoming filled with anxiety from
the news, or being out of work (and out of a paycheck). Weíre
all feeling it in some way. And with 78% of Americans living
paycheck to paycheck, itís easy to see why the loss of even just
one paycheck could be devastating.
Will You Miss a Paycheck Due to the
Itís no secret that things
are shutting down all across the world. And if your workplace
has closed its doors and isnít offering pay, then itís time for
you to (calmly) regroup and get some things in order. The
thought of being without a paycheck can be overwhelming. But we
donít want to scare you. We want to give you sensible,
level-headed actions to take. But first, step back and take a
big, deep breath. Did you do it? Okay, good.
Now letís look at some things you can do
to keep you on your feetóeven without a paycheck.
Things to Do If
You Miss a Paycheck
1. Get on a budget.
If you arenít already living on a budget, the time is now!
Making a monthly budget will show you exactly where your money
is goingóno ifs, ands or buts about it.
Without a budget, you really canít make
every dollar stretch because you might not even know how much
money you have to work with. Plus, your budget will show you
places where you can cut back and save money (more on that
later). And you donít have to rely on a yellow lined notebook to
crunch the numbers.
If you donít have any income right now,
then make a budget based on the amount of money you do have. If
you have $600 left to your name, budget out exactly where each
of those dollars will go. Itís time to squeeze every last penny
out of what youíve got.
If you still have cash coming in from
your spouseís job or some other source, then adjust your budget
to reflect that. Maybe the two of you usually bring in a
combined $5,000 a month. But with the loss of one income, youíre
down to $2,500 a month.
2. Take care of the "Four Walls."
When the going gets roughólike it is right nowóyou need to focus
on the things you really need to survive. We call these the Four
Walls. Forget the student loan payment, the vet bill and the
cell phone bill (for now). The Four Walls are your priority, so
pay for these things in this order before anything else:
These are the basics you need to keep going so you can live to
fight another day. And itís really hard to fight when your
family doesnít have food, isnít it? So if thereís no food in the
fridge, donít pay the cable bill.
If thereís any money left over after you
take care of the Four Walls, make a list of what else you need
to pay and tackle that in order of importance. When you run out
of moneyóthatís it.
Someone on the list isnít getting paid,
and thatís just how it goes. But it sure as heck isnít going to
be the checkout lady at the grocery store. Remember, thatís
priority number one!
If youíre renting and having trouble
coming up with cash right now, donít stress out. Reach out to
your landlord and be honest with them about whatís going on.
They might be able to work something out with you for the time
being, but they canít help if they donít know. Be up front with
them and pray for the best.
3. Pause your debt snowball. (Dave's
Ramsey's system for paying off debt)
youíre just trying to make it to another day, you donít need to
pay extra on your debt. Instead, focus on piling up cash as high
as you can. This will help with peace of mind until you have
income again. Once life gets back to normal and everything is
okay, you can pick up where you left off with your debt
youíve been chipping away at your debt, you probably donít want
to see all your progress come to a screeching halt. But the
reality is, if youíre not getting paid, then youíre in the
middle of a crisis. So pause your debt snowball. If itís within
your budget to keep paying the minimum payments on your debt, go
for it. But remember, the Four Walls come first. Donít let your
family go hungry for the sake of your FICO score.
4. Sell stuff.
Get radical. No, we donít want you to go selling hand sanitizer
on eBay for $50 a bottle. But this is the time to sell what you
can to bring in extra cash. Maybe thatís your jewelry, clothes,
baby items or even the extra car sitting in your garage. If you
know you can part with something and get extra cash in your
handsódo it! Well, within reason.
5. Get a temporary job or start a side
If youíre out of a paycheck
because of the coronavirus (or your business is taking a serious
hit from it), thatís a real thing. But you donít need to freak
about itójust go get some part-time work.
With so much being shut down right now, there might not be as
many traditional ways to make extra money out there. Your local
hotels, movie theaters and restaurants probably arenít looking
for help So think about who might be hiring more right now. Look
into driving for Amazon (hello, doorstep toilet paper
deliveries), picking up takeout food for Postmates, or dropping
off grocery orders with Shipt.
And even if one of those doesnít work
out, you can still take up odd jobs around your neighborhood
(think cutting the grass, picking up leaves, babysitting, or dog
walking). Be on the lookout for opportunities that will add a
few extra bucks to your pocket. In this situation, every little
Look for things to cut.
This is the time
to cut back on any unnecessary expenses that you can. Tighten it
up. Stop or pause your subscriptions (think Netflix, Hulu, meal
delivery kits, specialty makeup boxes). They arenít going
anywhere, and you can easily pick them back up once everything
blows over and you have extra cash to spend again.
Donít forget to call your cable,
Internet and cellular providers to see if thereís anything
theyíll do to work with you during this time. Be open and
honest, and let them know your situation. Youíll never know if
you donít ask! And since you already have them on the line, go
ahead and downgrade or pause your service for now. None of these
things fall into the Four Walls, remember?
And have you heard of this thing called
ďsocial distancing?Ē It means people are encouraged (and want)
to stay away from each other right now. Which can make it easier
to not spend money. Sports venues are closed, Disneyland is
closedóheck, even bars are closed. And even if places are open,
this is a time when most people are staying home anyway. Your
friends probably wonít pressure you to go hit the town this
weekend. Thatís good news for your budget.
We know making sacrifices like this can
feel like adding insult to injury when youíre already hurting.
But keep reminding yourself: This is not forever. Weíre going to
make it through this! Youíre making temporary sacrifices to
tread water until this storm passes and youíre back on your feet
with your church or local community groups.
Letís be clear here: Try to do everything in your power first
before you seek help like this. Make sure you cut back where you
can and take any temporary jobs to work hard and get back up on
your own two feet.
But, in times of real need, donít be too
prideful to ask for a helping hand. Many churches and community
groups in your area exist for situations like this. They want to
help you! If going to a food bank means your family is fed, then
Dave! Good advice as aways!
Jim Garnett, The
Henderson NV 89015
Get questions like this one answered in my new book, The
Nuts and Bolts of Cash and Credit: An Encyclopedia of Financial
Knowledge" on Amazon.com.
© Jim Garnett, The Debt Doctor
AskMrG Consulting, LLC
2216 SW 35th Street
Ankeny, IA 50023