Decreased Income During the Lockdown

Hey, it’s John from Financial MD with today’s Didactic Minute. Today, I want to talk to you about an issue that’s affecting a lot of us and that is decreased income. A lot of our financial picture is changing during this time, and even though it’s probably temporary, many of us are facing decreased income due to a lot of factors. One, we’re not allowed to work.

Two, a lot of you in the medical field are facing fewer procedures, fewer patients, flat out, just less time. As I said in my last video, emergency medicine physicians are working less, getting fewer hours, therefore making less, which I think is surprising to a lot of people. But again, you realize fewer people are just coming to the hospital if they don’t absolutely have to.

So, I wanted to give you some ideas today on how you can get through this period on a reduced income and come out the other side fairly unscathed. So, a few ideas. One, look for any area where you can negotiate with the company or your utilities or your bill provider, and figure out if you can skip some payments or pay less. Here are a few things that we’ve seen. Banks and mortgage companies are offering programs where you can skip some payments, pay fewer payments. You got to give them a call and reach out to them. And note that a lot of what we’ve seen is banks that are not necessarily making you miss payments, you just postpone. And one thing that I saw and one bank that I spoke to, they’re making you pay all 3 payments in the 4th month, which doesn’t make sense to me, because what are we doing, just making the same amount of money, but banking it and putting it somewhere else that we can pay it all? Anyway, doesn’t make sense. But there may be some better options out there.

Look at any of the other bills or utilities that you pay, whether it’s other loan payments, your cell phone bill. I know AT&T and Verizon are providing ways to skip payments, and they’re not canceling people’s service. So, do some research into those. Other subscriptions, other costs monthly that you’re paying for, look into what you can skip or cancel for now. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Netflix or Hulu, because of what else you’re going to do when you’re stuck at home. But if you look around, maybe you’re paying for some weed control service or lawn care or pest control or any of those things that you’re really not using and you can skip for a little bit, I would encourage you to look into that.

The last thing I want to present to you is, we’ve talked about this in our lectures and in some other videos, but make sure you’ve got some sort of software that’s tracking your spending. If you don’t yet, get into something like mint, or you need a budget. You can go to financialmd.com and get your personal financial snapshot. Anywhere you can go that’s going to give you an idea of what you’re spending, there’s going to be a lot of things that you didn’t realize you were still paying for, or that’s higher than you realize, but it just gives you a tally of what things you can look at and maybe cut back on a few items.

Again, this is John from Financial MD with your Didactic Minute. Hope this was helpful and we’ll see you next time.