It only takes one unforeseen circumstance to throw your finances out of whack. Your car breaks down, a pipe bursts, the landlord raises the rent, you lose your job, you get sick or injured, and everything seems to fall apart. Overwhelmed with emotions and limited time to devise a plan, you make a decision that temporarily solves the problem, but creates issues down the road. You take out a loan or charge your credit card and then spend the next few months trying to figure out how you’ll survive.
Chances are you’ve been here at least once in your life. Though it may seem like the best thing to do when faced with a financial emergency is to borrow the money, there are other solutions. Continue reading to learn more.
Look for Financial Assistance
There are programs out there designed to help people when they’re in a financial jam. Let’s say you were in a car accident and suffered long-term injuries. A quick search of social security office locations near me and an application for disability benefits can turn things around. You’ll have the funds you need to tide you over until you’re able to get back on your feet or find another income source. The best part is, you don’t have to repay these funds, so there’s no debt to worry about. Before you assume there’s no way out of your circumstances, do some research on financial assistance opportunities.
Crunch Some Numbers
It may appear that you don’t have the income necessary to cover the emergency on the surface. However, with a bit more digging, most find this to be quite the opposite. If you were to ditch your cable services, downgrade your cell phone bill, stop buying coffee every day, and find more affordable ways to entertain yourself, you likely have the cash you need to pay for the unexpected expense. Before turning elsewhere to resolve your problems, get serious about your spending to see if you can handle it yourself.
Sell Some Things
As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Chances are you have things in your possession that you no longer use that could prove valuable to someone else. Whether it’s some old clothes and shoes, an outdated cell phone, jewelry, or a disabled vehicle, there are opportunities to earn some much-needed cash. You can find a specialized buyer, post and sell these items online, or have a yard sale. The sales proceeds could then be used to cover all or a portion of your emergency costs.
Turn to Friends and Family
Your friends and family are other sources you can turn to in your time of need. While they too may be strapped for cash, there are other ways they can help you out of a jam. For example, your sister may know a mechanic that’s willing to repair your car for a low rate. Your best friend’s husband could be an HVAC contractor that’s willing to repair your air conditioner and allow you to repay them in affordable monthly installments.
Earn Some Cash
When faced with long-term emergencies like the loss of a loved one or job, there’s also the option to earn more money. It doesn’t have to be as involved as filling out applications, going to countless interviews, and working another full or part-time job. There are plenty of ways to earn money relatively quickly. You can cut someone’s grass, walk the neighbor’s dogs, offer to babysit, housesit for a relative that’s going out of town, sign up for a rideshare service, deliver groceries or food, and so much more. Many of these options will pay you cash daily to handle your emergency without skipping a beat.
Taking out a personal loan, borrowing on your retirement savings, or charging your credit card are the most common solutions for getting out of financial trouble. While these options can resolve the immediate problem, it can take you months or even years to repay. The most efficient way to tackle a financial emergency is to exhaust the options listed above first.