Feelings of fear, frustration or shame can overwhelm the clear-headed thinking needed to tackle tough times, but try not to internalize it, advised Mike Maier, an accounting expert with the Alberta School of Business.
“Don’t define your self-worth by how much you have,” he said. “That can lead to low self-worth and makes it hard to think about the future and how to build towards that. You have to keep that orientation to the future, knowing things will get better.”
While circumstances differ for everyone, it’s smart to develop a plan to deal with household cash crunches, he advised.
Prioritize your needs
Cut back your household budget as much as you can to meet the most basic needs first – food and shelter.
“Food bills can usually be trimmed – sometimes by a lot. Don’t buy junk food, focus on nutritious choices and cook more at home instead of ordering in,” said Maier.
To pay the rent, people short of money should make the most of government programs like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit that offer some short-term aid to help bridge the gap, Maier said.person
Similarly, homeowners who can’t keep up mortgage payments should talk to their banks about deferring those instalments for up to six months, a measure recently encouraged by the federal government. It will cost the homeowner more in interest payments down the road but provides some interim protection for people who’ve already invested a lot of money in their homes.