News 6 debuts Make Ends Meet initiative to provide budget guidance for viewers

Sen. Rick Scott says he’s committed to help residents get stimulus checks and benefits

News 6 has developed a budget guidance plan to help viewers cut spending during the tough times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 has developed a budget guidance plan to help viewers cut spending during the tough times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The segment Make Ends Meet will work with certified financial planner Nancy Hecht, offices of state and local lawmakers, including Sen. Rick Scott, to help residents get through what is expected to be economically difficult times.

During a phone conversation Monday, Scott said his Florida offices are ready to take calls and help residents get through the red tape.

“If anybody is having any problems,” Scott said. “Reach out to my office, we will do everything we can to be helpful to them.”

Scott said he is “optimistic” the $2.2 trillion stimulus rescue plan will provide the economic lifeline needed to help the economy come back.

The former Florida governor said the speed of the comeback will depend on residents following the Centers for Disease Control’s standards, including hand washing and social distancing.

“It’s all up to us," Scott said. “I’m very optimistic, but how long this lasts depends on how people respond.”

Scott put out a 30-day plan last week that included staying at home if you can, getting more testing into hospitals across the state and country and shutting down air travel for both domestic and international flights.

“If we do that we’re going to get through this pretty fast,” Scott said. “It’s going to be a painful process, but if we don’t get infected we won’t infect anybody else."

Scott said that anyone who needs assistance should call his staff at 202-224-5274.

Each case is different but News 6 will work with Scott’s office to make the right connections to try to resolve the issues at hand.

Stimulus checks are expected to start going out in about three weeks, something Hecht warned should not be treated like “spendthrift” money.

“Everybody needs to look at what their hard, important expenses are,“ Hecht said. “Mortgage, power, water.”

Hecht said it will be a tough balancing act that will need discipline, but she said it can be done.

“You need to look at what your average bills are for those things that fluctuate like phone usage and food,“ she said. ”You need to find an average of three to four months.”

The Washington Post created a calculator to help people determine how much they could receive from the stimulus money. Adults earning up to $75,000 a year will receive $1,200, families with children will receive an additional $500 per child.

Click here to learn how you will receive the money and how much.

Hecht provided a budget sheet for News 6 viewers to work out needed expenditures and items you can live without.

Make Ends Meet financial planning sheet

For more information, email

If you need help tracking down benefits, call Scott’s office at 202-224-5274.

About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.