Research suggests that most of us are only ever two paychecks from being made homeless, which is an incredibly scary thought. So when a large, unexpected expense crops up it can be stressful even for the most laid back of people. So many of us live paycheck to paycheck and simply don’t have the ability to access cash out of the blue. If you’ve just experienced a large bill dropping through the door or something has broken on you (like your car or a home appliance)- there are a few things you can do before panicking!
If it’s an unexpected bill you’re dealing with, your first port of call would be calling the creditor or person who issued it. Don’t just bury your head in the sand and hope it will go away- it won’t. Companies will much prefer you to tell them what the situation is, you can then come to an agreement about how to pay. They can’t get blood out of a stone so even offering a token payment until you can afford more could be the way to go. In the case of a broken down appliance, make sure it’s not under warranty as if it is it will be repaired or replaced for free. If not, call the company’s helpline and see what repair options they offer, some will give you the chance to spread the cost to have it fixed.
Ask Friends and Family
If you’re struggling where something has gone wrong, don’t feel too proud to ask friends and family for help. They might be able to give you a loan or even know someone who can help in other ways- such as knowing someone who will repair it cheaply. Always draw up a repayment plan on paper stating how much you have borrowed and what the repayments will be.
Most homes have hundreds, if not thousands in unused possessions lying around in them. It could be a good excuse deep clean and declutter at the same time, check out the attic, garage and shed amongst other places. You could list things on ebay or sell them to an online company that buys used items. Outdated mobile phones, games consoles, games and dvds might seem like junk but lots of companies buy them. Broken, scrap or unused jewellery is another example.
Give Your Finances an Overhaul
Go through your finances careful and see where you can make cutbacks, even if they’re just in the short term. Walking or cycling to work will save on petrol. Writing a shopping list and meal planning will both help you save on your shopping bill. You could look to downgrade your mobile phone, tv and broadband packages. Look into credit card consolidation so instead of paying lots of accounts each month (all which will have interest on them) you can make one which is cheaper and easier too.
Do Some Extra Work
Could you work some overtime or even pick up some extra shifts at work? Could you start working from home taking surveys, tutoring or freelance article writing? There are even call centre and sales jobs that you can do from home if you scour online you might get lucky. Even doing some work for friends and family like babysitting or cleaning could help as well.