It can seem like our financial security is always slightly out of reach, but, for the most part, we generally seem to have something of a grasp on things. We’re not struggling to pay our bills, and so long as everything carries on as normal, then we’re just fine. Only, that’s not always how life works. There are times when we’re thrown a curveball, and we’re hit by unexpected expenses that can derail our finances. It could be a temporary decrease in working hours, a bill, or just that our problematic financial past has caught up with us.
Even though these moments are never enjoyable, they don’t need to mean too many financial hardships. Below, we take a look at a few tried and tested tips that’ll keep your financial standing in order even when things aren’t going quite to plan.
When you find yourself in a financial pickle, the first thing you should do is do a spot of accounting, and get a sound understanding of your financial situation. You might have a vague idea of whether things are good or bad, but when every penny counts, a vague sense just won’t cut it — you need to know what’s really going on. Take a look at all your incomings and outgoings. Whether it’s good or bad, you’ll at least know where you stand.
One of the benefits of going through your finances is that it’ll allow you to figure out just how much money you’re spending unnecessarily (this is a good thing to do from time to time even when everything’s fine, in fact). Many of us are guilty of spending too much money on things we don’t really need, such as spending on takeout food or alcohol. You may be able to effortlessly absorb these expenses during regular months, but if you hit a lean period, you’ll want to pause them until things are back to normal. You’ll be surprised at just how much you’re able to save just by closing your wallet a little more.
One thing that may come to your rescue during lean financial months are your untapped money resources, of which you may have a few. Indeed, most people have access to more cash then they realise! For example, let’s just think about all those unused items you have in your home. Is it possible that you could get them all together, and sell them? If you’re not using them, then it’s not like you’re going to miss them, yet they could be the thing that puts your temporary financial difficulties behind you. It’s possible you have other ways to bring in some cash quickly, too, such as by renting out a room in your home, offering rides, or taking on additional hours at work.
Finding Additional Cash
If you don’t have options when it comes to bringing in money via conventional methods (such as more hours at work), then fear not, because there are other options when it comes to getting out of a financial pinch. For example, you can ask to borrow money from your friends or family, or spend some time looking for a loan. These two options are especially recommended if your financial difficulties really are just temporary — such as, you need money to get your car repaired — and you know that you can pay back the money over a period of months.
Talk to Companies
It’s all good and well limiting the amount of money that you spend on, say, coffee and alcohol, but you can’t really pause those monthly payments that are automatically taken from your bank account. So you’ll want to make sure there’s money in the bank to pay for those things. However, if you can’t pay and you’re charged a penalty, then it’s recommended that you speak with the company. If you’ve otherwise been a loyal customer, then they’ll likely be happy to remove the charge. If it’s a company that is causing you financial difficulty (say, you’ve been issued a large bill that you’re struggling to pay), then you should also speak to them. Many are happy to set up a payment plan spread over several months (which is much more appealing than not getting paid at all).
Look After Yourself
Finally, remember to look after yourself. It can always be a little anxiety-inducing, finding yourself in financial difficulties, but it won’t help you to get out of them. Keep a level head, and you’ll find it easier to move on.
This is a collaborative post.