No matter how careful or prepared you might be, there’s always a chance that you could find yourself tackling an emergency and unexpected expense that leaves you strapped for cash and struggling to generate the funds you need.
Maybe your car has broken down and you need to find a way to fix it before work starts again on Monday, or your boiler’s suffering from problems and you need to pay someone to come out and complete the repairs. If you haven’t got an emergency fund available for you to tap into, then you’re going to need to look elsewhere for help.
The good news is that there are some options available if you’re in a desperate situation. Here, we’ll look at just a few opportunities that could be key to helping you get the cash you need in a hurry.
Nobody wants to have to beg the people they love for extra cash. We all move into adulthood assuming that we’ll be able to find a way to manage on our own and maintain our independence. However, it’s important to remember that needing to turn to someone close to you for help in times of trouble isn’t necessarily a sign that you’ve failed. Instead, it simply shows that just like anyone else, you’re a victim of circumstance. If you know someone in your social circle or family who can help you out, turn to them before you consider other options like loans and debt. It’s much easier to pay back a friend than pay back a credit union or bank.
If your emergency situation has a time factor connected to it, then there’s a good chance you wont’ be able to spend time looking for a second job to help you pay the bills. Instead, you’ll need to think about other ways that you can start to make money. The good news is that kids have been shoveling snow, mowing lawns, and babysitting for years as a way of raising cash – and you can do some similar things. Try looking for odd jobs like walking the neighbor’s dog, or taking on some freelance tasks available from online forums.
As we all know, one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure. If you’re struggling to find the money for an important expense, then it might be a good idea to look through your attic for items that you no longer need or want. Once you’ve found a couple of pieces, you can always sell them either through online sites like eBay, or set up an old-fashioned yard sale instead. Remember, there are plenty of different ways to sell things today – whether it’s home-made items on eBay or an old phone on a cash for phones website.
If you’re willing to speak to a professional, you might find that your credit union or bank offers overdraft protection on your checking account. While you might not be able to use this feature to write out a check for cash, you could potentially pay a bill with a debit card that might bounce back in other circumstances. An overdraft facility allows you to purchase items like food when you haven’t got any left in the house, or pay a bill for gas and electricity to ensure that your energy services aren’t shut down. The important thing to remember is that many institutions will charge you high-interest rates on overdraft loans, so there may be better lending options available.
If your cash problem looks bad and you need more than just a little bit of money to tide you over until your next paycheck, then it might be time to think about a personal loan. Personal loans can offer you financial support at the times you need it most, by allowing you to tap into credit for almost any reason you like. There’s plenty of flexibility around personal loans for most people, and so long as you stick to the terms and conditions that have been set out by your provider, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem paying back the money you owe.
Finally, if you’ve already maxed out your credit cards, but you still need a small amount of cash, then you could think about getting a credit card advance. Credit card companies can charge steep rates of interest on cash advances, and if you miss a payment, you could incur huge penalties. However, if you can repay your loan by the closing date, you can get a much-needed source for extra cash, and fast with a credit advance.