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COLUMBIA CITY, IN — Many are experiencing unanticipated loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Purdue Extension Health and Human Sciences (HHS), including Whitley County Extension Educator Cindy Barnett, has created nine fact sheets outlining the steps that individuals should take to maintain financial control and minimize hardship amid a reduction of income.

HHS Extension suggests that people in such situations assess the scenario and take control of what they can to minimize stress. It is important to manage well-being by taking it one day at a time and keeping mentally and physically healthy.

“When Your Income Drops” fact sheets outline how to determine a person’s net worth and recommend thinking about non-financial resources — such as skills and talent — that may be helpful in this uncertain time. Once someone has a clear view of family or individual resources, they should consider using available community, state or national resources. The fact sheets include a list of these resources, with contact information.

After assessing these additional resources, set priorities for spending and create a budget. Prioritize expenses such as housing, food and medicine, insurance, utilities, and lender payments and eliminate any nonessential expenses. Barnett recommends reaching out to lenders and creditors to ask if they have any relief available during the pandemic.

Be aware of fraud and scams and know your rights. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb also ordered the suspension of residential eviction proceedings or foreclosure actions, and providers of essential utility services are prohibited from discontinuing service to customers during this state of emergency.

The fact sheets can be found at https://extension.purdue.edu/article/36749.

For more information or questions, contact Cindy Barnett, Purdue Extension – Whitley County, cbarnett@purdue.edu, 260.244.7615 or 260.625.3313.

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