• Lisa Allen

How to provide like a caveman

If you’re like a lot of people in this Covid vortex and you have way more bills than money, let me help you prioritize.

It goes back to a caveman’s honey-do list. Food. Shelter. That was pretty much it. Same holds true.

Thus, if you have a stack of bills and just a whisper of money, talk to the bank about your mortgage, your landlord about rent and the bank about your car loan. Set terms YOU can meet; don’t let them back you into a no-win corner. If you’re going to trash your credit score, leave room for you to have some enjoyment in life, such as dinner out once a month and a couple domestic beers on a Saturday night. Make sure your budget includes $50 or $100 a month for some fun. If you set too severe of terms, you’re setting yourself up for misery and failure.

(But don’t go crazy. That’s per month, not per week.)

As for those credit card and medical bills, don’t pay them if you can’t. Fortunately, they can’t take anything from you, like your house, apartment or car.

The virus is going to change how business works in America, much like the Great Recession did. Banks are going to have to change how they lend money. Credit scores will be recalculated to reflect the massive income loss.

I know paying bills, all of your bills, is a point of pride and honor for a lot of people. It certainly was for me. Then I realized that didn’t get me anywhere. Banks are corporations, robots if you will. Who cares what they think of you? Who cares what Aunt Martha says? She’s never been very nice anyway.

Hold your head high. You’re making the right choices for you and your family. Food. Shelter. And a little joy every once in a while. Life: no one gets out alive.

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