A sudden drop in income when the bills keep coming can result in panic and stress, but proactively figuring out what you have and developing a plan can help buffer those feelings.
Income drop? Take stock and set priorities. Developing a spending plan can help reduce stress, maintain control of your financial position
The economic fallout from closed businesses and lost jobs linked to the new coronavirus hit with almost no warning, abruptly slashing the income of millions of Americans. The situation is heightening stress as individuals and families figure out how to pay rent, utility bills and more.
“An abrupt loss of income, whatever the reason, can be traumatic,” said Kansas State University associate professor Elizabeth Kiss. “When it happens, a common instinct is to panic. Although natural, avoid the temptation to tailspin as much as possible.” It may feel like you’re not in control right now, but there are things you can control, said Kiss, a family resource specialist with K-State Research and Extension. She authored the following publications:
Help with rent - for Landlords and Tenants
While moratoriums have provided tenants with protection from eviction and temporary assistance has helped some tenants cover rent payments, the bills continue to accrue each month, leaving families unsure how they will pay arrears, and leaving landlords without income.
The Kansas Emergency Rental ASsistance (KERA) program provides rent, utility, and internet assistance to households experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID pandemic. Landlords and tenants apply via a joint online process. If the application is approved, the landlord or service provider receives funds directly from KERA and applies KERA funds to the applicant's account. Approved applicants are eligible for up to 12 months of assistance. Information, including the application can be found at kshousingcorp.org.
The Kansas State Treasurer, Jake LaTurner, announced a new tool they have launched to help parents and students find money to pay for educational opportunities after high school. Whether you have a student looking at tech school, vocational school, or a traditional college, the office is happy to announce that they have partnered with Sallie Mae to provide an exceptional way to access over 5-million scholarships worth over $24-billion quickly and easily on our new Kansas ScholarShop website.
They tested this platform at Washburn Rural High School in February, before schools were suspended for COVID-19, and the students and teachers had great success searching. The website is now ready to be used by students statewide.
The tool is simple and can be customized very specifically to the student's interests. We encourage you to give it a try!
Federal Student Aid
On March 27, 2020, the president signed the CARES Act into law, which, among other things, provides broad relief for federal student loan borrowers. If you're concerned about studies or loan repayment, check the Federal Student Aid website, which adds information to their site on a regular basis.
It's never too late to start a budget!
You can learn all about it in this consumerfinance.gov article.
Essential Living Skills Series
Learn even more about money management: budgeting, saving, banking, and more in this K-State Research & Extension publication.