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How to Cope with Debt During a Windsor Job Loss

Update: “Earlier this year we created this video about the uncertain Ontario economy and the job loss at  Fiat Chrysler in Windsor. Now, almost every auto worker in Ontario is laid off and the threat is a reality for many. We realize that the video is specific to the Fiat Chrysler plant but relevant to anyone facing a job loss during this Pandemic. 

In this uncertain Ontario economic economy, job loss at the Fiat Chrysler plant is an ever-present threat.

A shut-down has been threatened ever since the third shift first started in 1993.

If it happens, it will create money problems for lots of folks.

Are you concerned about losing your job at the Windsor plant?

If so, you may wonder how you’re going to cope with your bills.

Of course, you’ll apply for EI benefits as soon as your job ends.

You can generally count on receiving 55 percent of your salary. And it will be taxed.

Now 55% is better than nothing, but for most people, this type of cut can be really uncomfortable.

How in the world can you afford your house payment, car note, utilities, credit cards, student loans…and, oh yeah, food?

The last thing you want to do is get caught in a vicious cycle.

  • You can’t pay your debt because you don’t have enough money.
  • Yet you find yourself pulling out the plastic to make up for lost income.

You need a better plan than that.

The first thing you’ll want to do is review your budget. There are five key areas to look at:

1. Prioritize your bills.

Make sure you have enough to pay the mortgage or rent, your car payment… you know, things you prefer to keep, and keep those payments up to date if you can.

2. Trim the fat from your budget.

We all pay for things we don’t need.

Find substitutions for your expensive habits.

It’s not that hard to find savings in every category.

3. Stop using your credit cards.

You’d be surprised what your friends and family have stashed in their closets and garages that they probably aren’t using.

Everyone has too much stuff.

Do them a favour; borrow it.

4. Pay down your debt.

Of course, you can’t pay it all off. But do what you can.

You may receive severance pay or have a tax refund coming.

If you do, decide how much want to hold back and how much you can afford to put toward your debt.

If you can consolidate your bills, don’t wait. Do it now.

5. Call the rest of the creditors.

Let them know if you are going to be without a job.

Many companies will work with you if you ask.

Now What?

Once your budget is whipped into shape, the next thing you’ll want to do is identify Windsor lay-off resources.

This isn’t the city’s first shut down and it won’t be the last. There are places that help.

Check out the Unemployed Help Centre. In addition to job skills training, they can help with groceries, budgets, and heating bills. Their number is (519) 944-4900.

While you’re there, take advantage of their workshops and polish up your resume. Beat the rush.

The Bottom Line

So, there you have it.

The best way to cope with the bills if you lose your job in Windsor is to prepare a solid financial plan.

Pay down your debt, tighten up your budget.

But, still, that may not always work.

If you’re having trouble finding a way through, set up a free consultation with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee

You do have some options available.

Call 519-310JOHN [5646].

John Adamson, CPA, CMA

John is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (1994), a Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional (CIRP – 1994), and a Chartered Professional Accountant with a Certified Management Accounting designation (CPA, CMA – 1992). His experience includes more than 25 years of helping individuals, small businesses, their owners and even lenders, find solutions to their debt problems.

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