Balancing your budget amid coronavirus financial fallout will mean deciding ‘needs vs. wants’

Financial expert says spending beyond your means is common mistake

Americans caught in the new normal of unemployment and the benefits waiting game amid the coronavirus pandemic need to make major adjustments in their spending habits according to financial expert Nancy Hecht.

Hecht said consumers need to contact banks and mortgage companies to have their bills including car payments, credit cards and mortgage payments deferred or waived and "have them tacked on to the end of the loan.”

“Looking at where the money is going, how your spending money every single day is really important," Hecht said. “You have to drill down to what is an essential what is a need versus a want.”

Hecht said the common mistake she sees in consumer spending is exceeding personal income.

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“Nine times out of 10 it’s spending beyond their means,” Hecht a veteran certified financial planner said. “You can look at your internet bill, your phone bill you can look at how your spending money to buy food.”

Hecht provided a budget sheet to help people write down expenses and start cutting excess spending.

Make Ends Meet financial planning sheet
Make Ends Meet financial planning sheet

“I know that’s a tough thing for people to have to face," Hecht said. “Now is the time where you have to do that we are in desperate times right now!”

Shannon Tosney, a single mom who was furloughed from her produce marketing job last month, said she has been trying to get Florida unemployment benefits for 22 days.

“Bills are still coming in but there’s no money to budget with,” Tosney said. “This is three weeks without a paycheck and once you’re able to apply we’re uncertain when those benefits will come in.”

Tosney filled out an 8-question survey issued by Rep. Stephanie Murphy (Florida-D) Tuesday. The Florida congresswoman is collecting information from unemployed individuals and asking how long they have been waiting for unemployment benefits.

“We’re all in limbo,” Tosney said. “Like I said the bills keep coming but there is no income coming in."

If you would like your budget reviewed fill out the budget form and send it to News 6 investigator Mike Holfeld at mholfeld@wkmg.com.

Check back at ClickOrlando.com/MakeEndsMeet for the latest coronavirus financial news.

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