While you feel you stand a good chance of getting workers’ compensation, have you taken steps to restructure your budget? Your benefits amount may not be enough to pay current and future bills, so whittling down expenses may be a great idea. Most people are living on a shoestring, without getting hurt.  Workers’ compensation generally pays one-third of pre-injury wages.  In North Carolina, that compensation is tax-free, but it still usually amounts to less than take-home pay before the injury.  That shortens the shoestring.

Securian Financial offers tips for paying bills when you cannot work. Use these insights to tweak your budget and stretch your benefits as much as possible.

Use coupons

Now is a great time to use paper and digital coupons. It may surprise you to learn how much more you can save at the grocery store with a few coupons. If you have access to a warehouse store in your local neighborhood, shopping there can also save money, especially if you have to feed a family.

Cut down to the essentials

Look at your current budget. Are there any expenses you can do without, especially considering your injury? For instance, both your injury and current events may mean you cannot use your gym membership. Movie theater membership programs, delivery services and high-tier phone plans are a few items to consider chopping from your budget. Doing so frees up money for necessities and putting money into an emergency savings account.

Prioritize payments

Bill collectors do not stop sending bills when you injure yourself. To avoid late fees and penalties, pay credit card bills, insurance premiums, loans and the like first. Another reason to prioritize these bills is to protect your credit score.

Be careful that you do not take workers’ comp for granted. Restructure your budget so you can concentrate on making a full recovery.

It can be hard living on workers’ compensation, and it is understood that there are no simple ways to reduce costs.  Nobody wants to cut back.  Unfortunately, sometimes injured workers are forced to do so.