COLORADO SPRINGS — We've heard from many of you who are trying to stretch every dollar as you work to manage the pressure of these tough economic times. The experts at Financial Peace University offer some strategies to help you rebound and make the best financial decisions for your budget.
We know these are troubling times with many questions. Even if you now have that stimulus check, how do you manage it? What do you do if you've realized you don't have enough to pay the bills?
News5 spoke to Financial Peace University experts who have helped millions of families get out of debt and take back control of their finances. They say even in these times you can do it too.
Financial Peace University expert Rachel Cruze says managing the tough economic times starts with having the right mindset and an attitude of hope.
"I believe in the American economy enough to know we are going to get through this and having more of that mindset. So, hey what can I do right now temporarily to help my family, help my finances, versus just being paralyzed and freaked out," said Cruze. "So it's creating a plan and knowing that there is still hope out there.”
If you can, experts say you may want to consider carrying cash instead of those credit cards. It can help you limit unnecessary spending.
"Money is very emotional," said Cruze."So when you actually physically hold it and have cash in your hands studies actually show that you spend less when you spend with cash versus a credit card."
Chris Hogan has been working to help people who are experiencing the full impact of the financial crisis. He's advising people to change their money mindset right away.
“If your hours have been cu,t or unfortunately your job has been lost, you're going to want to go into conserve mode," said Hogan. "That means any dollar amount that comes in then you're going to want to save that to really make sure you're able to take care of the necessities moving forward.”
Before you spend that stimulus checks elsewhere, you may want to invest in those necessities. Hogan calls them the four walls.
“The four walls are the absolute basics that you want to make sure you're taking care of month in a month out.," said Hogan.
Four Walls (necessities for spending):
"The first one would be your shelter, so that would be your mortgage payment on your rent payment," said Hogan. "Next, you want to take care of utilities, the electric bill, the water bill, things of that nature. Following that, you want to make sure that you always have some food on the table, something nourishing for your body and then the final thing is your transportation. To make sure you have gas in your vehicle and you're able to get to and from wherever you need to go.”
Unfortunately, the reality is during this time for many families bills are going unpaid. If this is your situation, Hogan says you need to be proactive. Here's what he says you should do:
“If you can't pay. You can pay attention and what I mean by that is if you don't have the money to pay we can pay attention to this situation," said Hogan "Call each and every creditor. I'm advising people to make a script if you have to. Write down the reality and the facts of what's going on because people get can get nervous."
"Call the creditor. You're going to have to wait on hold sometimes. You may have to call back two or three times. Get them on the phone and explain to them your situation," Hogan said. "This is going to be tough, but it's going to be really important for you to do this. I don't want you to wait on them to call you. I want you to be proactive. Contact them let them know I don't have the money or this is what I can afford to pay and go from there.”
These are tough conversations and financial times, but even during these stressful situations Hogan says what he's hearing gives him hope.
"People are telling me that they had a job loss or their hours have been cut, but they're not giving up," said Hogan. "And to hear that for people are being intentional about what they're doing as they move forward. Making sacrifices, and staying focused on what matters most that gets me excited because what I hear is people being unwilling to give up their dreams just because we're having this pandemic and drama. People are staying clear on what they want they understand why they were working hard.”
Financial Peace University has helped people with their finances for more than two decades. For the first time ever its resources are being offered to our viewers for free.
To sign up for that 14-day free trial or to learn more about Financial Peace University visit https://www.daveramsey.com/store/hope
You can also reach out directly to Chris Hogan for advice through his website: https://www.chrishogan360.com/