Surviving Paycheck to Paycheck: Overcoming the Housing and Utility Cost Crisis

Surviving Paycheck to Paycheck: Overcoming the Housing and Utility Cost Crisis

The cost of housing and utilities continue to be a major concern for many people living paycheck to paycheck. In Connecticut, residents are facing an especially tough time due to the high utility costs that are forecasted for the year ahead. I don’t know how people manage if they live on a tight budget.

For many, the cost of housing and utilities is the largest expense in their budget, leaving little room for other necessities. When combined with stagnant wages and rising costs of living, it can be a daunting challenge to make ends meet.

So how do people manage? What can they do to avoid foreclosure or eviction?

Some may resort to making difficult choices, such as cutting back on food, medical care, or other necessities. Others may work long hours, take on additional jobs, or take out loans to pay their bills. If you are facing foreclosure or eviction, it’s important to quickly get qualified advice. There are often programs in your state that exist to prevent housing loss. Covid response funds and the eviction moratorium were extremely helpful but are now drying up and many of the Covid emergency programs are no longer available. Go to your state’s website to see what is available.

For those struggling with high utility costs, there are some options available to help alleviate the burden. Some utility companies offer assistance programs for low-income households, which can help to reduce bills or provide financial aid. Prosperi-Key offers a category of resources for utility assistance. You can also connect to your local 211 to find help.  

However, for those who still struggle to make ends meet, it may be necessary to get creative. This may include making energy-efficient upgrades to your home, such as installing insulation, sealing air leaks, or upgrading to Energy Star-rated appliances. If you own your own home, consider solar options where you can sell back the extra energy you create.

I learned a new term today – “house hacking”. It’s when you rent out living space to others, including rooms in your house, often through sites like Airbnb. By renting out extra space in your home, you can cover mortgage payments and even generate additional income. This may allow you to live in a nicer home while paying less than you would have for a traditional mortgage. But this solution isn’t for everyone and requires some sacrifice of privacy. This Business Insider article provides some pros and cons to think about before endeavoring on house hacking. For women who own property and prefer to rent only to other women for safety concerns, Golightly could be a useful option. This website operates on an invitation-only basis and carefully screens its members to ensure they meet the gender-specific criteria.

While the high cost of housing and utilities remains a challenge for many individuals and families, there are some options available to help reduce the financial burden. It’s important to stay informed about state programs and assistance, as well as keeping an eye out for potential opportunities to improve your energy efficiency or generate additional income. But many will continue to struggle in meeting the high cost of housing without significant sacrifice and tough choices. Determination and perseverance are not always enough when a safe and affordable housing stock simply isn’t available. Until more housing is available, families will need to continue being resourceful and creative to find ways to reduce their expenses and make ends meet.

We’ll Help With Your Utility Bills!

Are you a Connecticut resident struggling to pay your utility bills?
Don’t miss your chance to win $200 in bill assistance from Prosperi-Key!

We will be giving away $2,000 to Connecticut residents during the month of June 2023 to Key Members that need extra help paying their bills. There will be two drawings with five winners each, and each winner will receive $200 to put towards their utility bills.

Entrants Must:

  • Be a Connecticut resident
  • Be a Key Member (Apply below! It’s 100% free)
  • Answer one simple question for us

Key Members: Click here to apply for the contest

Not a Key Member yet? What are you waiting for? Apply now!

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Surviving Paycheck to Paycheck: Overcoming the Housing and Utility Cost Crisis

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