Image courtesy of Dustin Moore
Image courtesy of Dustin Moore
It can be a nightmare scenario for many people that they suddenly find their income reduces. However, it can be quite a common situation. It could happen if you are made redundant, cannot work through illness, have to stop work to care for a loved one or take maternity leave. Although in many of these scenarios it is likely that you will still have some income or financial help, it is still likely that your income will go down. However, there are things that you can do to help.

Renegotiate loans
The most important thing to do is to talk to any companies that you have borrowed money from. This includes all loans and your mortgage. Explain that your income has reduced and find out whether they can reduce your monthly payments. They may be able to increase the term of the loan or just change the repayments for a short while on the agreement that you pay back extra in the future. What you agree with them will depend on your specific circumstances and whether you think you will have your normal income again in the future. Lenders will prefer to renegotiate than have to take other measures with you as this is a less expensive option for them.

Compare Prices
It is then worth comparing prices on things you buy to see if you can get them cheaper. This can be on everything from loans and electricity to food and mobile phones. You can use comparison websites to compare prices on many things. It is wise to write down a list of all your main expenses and then see whether you can change providers or suppliers to get a better price. You could save quite a bit of money, particularly if you do it with a lot of them at once. This could include mobile phone, television, electricity, gas, broadband, land line, current account, insurance, loans, mortgage and food. There will be some things that you cannot negotiate such as council tax or rent but these could be reduced by downsizing,

It might be wise to move to a smaller home. This may not be possible if you are using all of the space or are expecting your family to grow. However, you could move to a cheaper area perhaps, which could save money. A smaller home usually costs less to heat, has lower council tax, needs less decoration and maintenance and has less room to put things, so it can mean that you spend less to live there as well as saving on rent or mortgage payments.

Sell your car
If you are not working you may no longer need your car. Although a car can be useful it may not be necessary. It can be really expensive, not only to fill up with fuel but also to tax, insure, MOT and service and so getting rid of it could make a huge difference. If you have two cars in the household then it could be fairly easy to manage with just one, although it will take some adjustment.