Budgeting amid coronavirus outbreak

Local expert on navigating financial fallout

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Whether you’re unemployed, seeing a dip in your income, or just more financially strapped these days, a lot of folks are finding the math isn’t just adding up when it comes to getting their bills paid amid the coronavirus pandemic. So what should you do?

“You’ve got to triage. Put your highest priorities first. You’ve got to put your rent first, you’ve got to put your groceries first, you’ve got to put your utilities first. Credit card payments, other loan payments, medical bills, anything else that’s coming in can take a back seat,” said Warwick financial planner Christina Gatteri.

Gatteri says after you figure out what bills you can’t pay right now, don’t just ghost those companies. Call them up.

“Contact everybody. Contact all of those companies and say hey. Here’s the position I’m in. what kind of help are you offering? You’re going to receive some assistance. You’re going to receive some empathy. Because chances are the person on the other end of the line is feeling it too, and they’re going to have processes in place to help out,” said Gatteri.

Of course there are no guarantees, but it’s worth trying, because remember, you’re far from alone. Finally, take a look at your larger financial picture and see if there’s anything you can tweak.

“If you can find ways to examine your expenses, maybe cut some things that you were reluctant to cut before because you enjoyed them as part of your lifestyle. This might be a time for some harder decisions, “said Gatteri.

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