Financial emergencies can happen at any time. Whether your car needs a major repair service or your air conditioner breaks down, there may come a time when you need to get your hands on some cash quickly.
If you have an emergency fund, you can handle most emergencies with ease. What do you do if you are cash-strapped? There are several ways you can handle financial emergencies.
Sell Your Unwanted Items
Prized material possessions provide little comfort when you are worried about paying the bills. Take a look around your house. There are probably several items that you can sell on Ebay or Craigslist for a quick infusion of cash. Things like old cell phones, electronics and designer handbags sell quickly on these sites.
Get Credit Extensions
Getting through a financial emergency requires that you take strategic actions. Call your creditors such as your utility and credit card companies to request extensions of your due dates. In some instances, creditors may extend your due date without applying expensive late fees.
Market Your Services
Although you may not be in business for yourself, there are marketable skills that you have that can help you through this financial challenge.
Are you good with children? Offer your sitter services to local parents. Do you clean houses well? Make flyers that provide information about your cleaning services. Put them on doors in your neighborhood.
Work Additional Hours on Your Job
Working overtime at your job is going to be a sacrifice of your leisure time and sleep. If your job offers overtime, make the sacrifice in order to get through this challenging time. You can work overtime until you have enough money saved that a financial emergency will not derail you. Working additional hours may be uncomfortable, but at least you will be able to relieve yourself of the stress of not being able to pay your bills.
Change Your Tax Withholding
Use the IRS withholding calculator to determine the amount of money in taxes you will be required to pay at the end of the year. Adjust your tax withholding to reflect that amount. This is a good solution because your paycheck will increase without having to work overtime.
Apply for Local Hardship Programs
Every state has governmental agencies that help people who are experiencing financial hardships. You can get help with purchasing food or paying utilities. Help is also available from churches and charitable organizations such as Goodwill and the Salvation army.
Ask a Family Member or Friend for Assistance
Borrowing money from a family member or a friend has the potential to create contentious relationships if you do not repay the loan. Getting a loan from a family member should be treated as a business contract. Use this option only if you are serious about repaying the loan.
Get a Loan from a Financial Institution
Sometimes a small loan is just the thing you need to get you through your financial emergency. Apply for a small loan from your credit union or bank. With steady income and good credit, you may be able to secure a low-interest loan.
Use Your Credit Card
Using a credit card is a viable option to handle financial emergencies. Before you use the card, examine your budget to decide the date you will pay off the added charges.
Credit cards are easy to use, but they can be habit-forming. Pay careful attention to your monthly budget if you find yourself using credit cards to pay your monthly utilities, gas and groceries.
Tap into Your Emergency Fund
You created your emergency funds to alleviate the stress of financial hardships – use it. Be sure to make it a priority to replace the funds as soon as possible.
If you do not have an emergency, make a decision to create one. Start saving small amounts of money. Before you know it, you will have a substantial savings account.
Apply for a Payday Loan
If your credit cards have reached their maximum limit and your credit is challenged, applying for a small payday loan should be done as a last resort. Payday loans have astronomical interest rates.
Consider this fact. If you borrow $250 using a payday loan, you could pay over $520 in interest over the life of this short-term loan. With payday loans, you should always proceed with caution.
At some point or another, every person experiences financial emergencies. These tips can help you get through this challenging time.