It is not uncommon for individuals to face financial insecurity at some point in their lives. Everyday expenses coupled with unexpected fiscal emergencies can put a dent in savings.
While some monetary speed bumps are unavoidable, there are ways to be better prepared and to overcome financial issues that may crop up. If you are looking for tips on how to get out of debt or for other financial assistance, our guide below can be a good place to start.
Financial experts suggest a number of ways to overcome fiscal difficulties, from cutting expenses to trying new ways to bring in some extra money like starting a business or getting a part-time job, for example. Other techniques to mitigate monthly expenses include restructuring your finances, which can often be difficult depending on your specific situation. We explore some of these in further detail, below.
Organizing Your Finances
It is important to know where your funds go on a monthly basis. Subscriptions, monthly payments, debt repayments, and the like, can be difficult to keep track of. If you do find the time to organize and look at where your money is going on a monthly basis, you might be shocked by some of the ways money is leaking out of your account.
It is important to pinpoint what services or costs may be draining your finances. For example, a gym membership you don’t make use of any more or some hidden fees for other subscription services may be costing you more than you can afford. Analyzing and organizing your finances can help you to find the areas where costs can be cut.
Even if you don’t find much that you can realistically cut out, it is good to know your budget and where you stand financially. This can help you to form the basis of your financial plan, moving forward. Often, peoples’ financial stress can be due to the fact that they don’t understand how their money is operating nor do they and have a plan to move forward. Basic money management is essential to long-term financial stability.
Cutting Your Expenses
Cutting out expenses can be a difficult task, and in some cases, it may make more sense to find additional ways to earn extra money. But money is not always easy to come by and it is important to manage your outgoings. If you are in debt, or you are looking for a way to overcome a financial issue, then it may be time to cut out some unnecessary expenses.
Get Rid of Expenses You Don’t Need
Determining what you can do without will depend on how drastic your financial problems are, and how much you need to save. Some households may be able to save hundreds of dollars a month by getting rid of cable subscriptions, canceling gym memberships and exercising outdoors instead, or getting rid of season passes to your favorite sports team. Other individuals may have to pinch pennies until their situations are more stable. It is important to note that it may be necessary to forgo some luxuries until you have overcome your money troubles.
There may be debt solutions that you are unaware of or types of financial assistance that can be of value to you. If you need to, you can talk to companies to whom you owe money and try to see what your options are. These may include refinancing your loans or repaying them over a longer period of time. Some lenders may have payment breaks or specific payment plans for those who need assistance.
You should also be aware of debt collection laws and be wary of predatory debt collection practices. Some companies are more generous than others but generally speaking you should be able to find that there is a way to work out your debts and avoid financial bankruptcy.
Negotiation does not have to be just for debt repayment. If you are struggling month to month, then you might be able to talk to companies who you owe money to, whether it is rent payments or utility bills, the company in question may be willing to arrange a repayment plan for you or work out financing options.
Financial advisors suggest “shopping around” for the best deals and prices, whether you are buying a car or booking a hotel.
Comparing prices in this way can save you money and help you limit your debts. For example, if you are in the market for car insurance you may want to shop around a bit, to find the best premium and plan that is the most appropriate for your financial situation, before settling on one.
This can also apply to monthly and daily necessities such as groceries. Some families waste money by buying poorly, letting things go past their use-by dates, and spending more on high-end brands. While there’s nothing wrong with buying brand name items, ultimately, those who are struggling farcically could cut their grocery bills by being more deliberate with how their money is spent. For example, you can consider buying things in bulk, if you have the money, to ensure you are getting the best possible prices. You don’t have to devote an excessive amount of time going to different supermarkets but making a plan and trying not to overspend on a monthly basis can go a long way.
Think About Your Car and Your Living Arrangements
If your debt situation really starts to cause extreme financial problems, you may have to think about making more drastic changes.
For example, is your vehicle or home costing you more than it should? While having a reliable car is often necessary, it may be wise to think of ways to lessen such costs. For example, you can consider buying a car that is more economical and cheaper to maintain. Opting for a car that is cheaper can free up some cash.
Apartment costs and mortgage payments can be costly and put you in further financial precarity. While it may be difficult to shift your living arrangements, it may be necessary if things get really difficult.
Some ideas for reducing costs related to renting or mortgage repayments include:
- Renting out your home on Airbnb and moving in with friends or family for a while
- Moving to a cheaper place
- Moving out of the center of a city and towards the outskirts or suburbs, even if it means a longer commute to work
- Finding a lodger: rent out a room in your home to allow for some extra income, which can help with mortgage repayments
- Moving back in with your parents: nobody likes living in their parents’ basement, but it may be necessary for a short time while you get back on your feet.
Making Extra Money to Overcome Financial Problems
In addition to cutting costs and trying to find debt solutions, you can consider ways you can earn some extra money. Even people who have full-time jobs can have a side-job or a way to make a bit of extra cash, whether this means starting a business, offering specific services, or even getting a second part-time job.
If you are in a couple or a family where only one of you works, naturally, it may be time for another person to get a job to help pay off communal debts. If you are used to earning one salary as a family, then having a second stream of income might help you to wipe off debts more quickly.
Start a Business
This can be difficult, obviously, as not all businesses can be successful. And we are not suggesting that you put all of your money into a business and risk getting into further financial trouble. However, if you have services or products you know you can sell to make some extra money, then starting a business can be a viable solution and a way to bring in some extra cash on the side. If you are good with cars, for instance, you could offer help with car repairs during your weekends. Or if you are a talented artist, you can offer personalized portraits that you can do on your own time. Modern and innovative technology has also made it easier to access potential customers all over the country and beyond.
Another potentially exciting thing about a side business is that there are really no limits on how much you can do and how long you can work for.
Ask for a Raise (Or Promotion)
Starting a business isn’t for everyone. Alternatively, you can consider asking for a pay increase from your current employer. If you have been at your job for a while but the wages have stayed stagnant, then you might be in a position to ask for a raise, especially if you are performing well.
Individuals may typically wait for raises to be offered, but the truth is that most companies are unlikely to part with more cash than they have to. There are ways to request a raise that can prove fruitful and productive.
Additionally, if there are opportunities within your current place of work through which you are able to acquire more money, it may be worth a shot. It may mean that you have to take on more responsibility, but it can be your way out of debt. You can also explore positions at other companies that you are qualified for if you are unable to get a promotion internally.
Sell Things You Don’t Need
Although selling unused or unwanted items is not a long-term solution to debt problems, it can be a good way to bring in some extra cash relief in the short-term and deal with immediate issues. If you have items lying around that you think might be valuable, consider selling them online. And if you have anything you think may be worth a large sum of money, you can get it valued to see if you can raise a more significant amount of cash from it.
Selling off your items may not be sustainable, but it can be a good way to raise short-term funds while you work towards another solution to overcome your financial problems.
Restructure and Reshuffle Debts
Outstanding debts and loans may lead to increased financial stress. And when interest on loans start to add up, you can find yourself on a slippery downward slope as you try to repay what you owe. Experts advise prioritizing debt repayment.
It is not uncommon that individuals’ money is tied up in belongings, homes, cars, and other assets, making it difficult to access it instantly to repay debts. But there are other common and unconventional ways to ensure that you can eventually get your loans repaid.
For example, you may be able to get a loan to consolidate other payday loans or smaller credit card debts that are starting to pile up. You can also negotiate loan terms or try to repay your debts over a longer period of time so that you are not paying back large sums of interest on a credit card each month.
You can also consider taking more drastic actions. For example, while remortgaging can be extreme, it can allow you a fresh start to tackle your debt problems and other financial difficulties, before moving on in your life.
If you come from a family of means, you may even consider swallowing your pride and asking your family for a loan. This way, they may not want interest and you can repay the loans that are demanding interest with their kind borrowing.
Depending on your specific financial situation, you may also be able to tap into benefits or government aid to help you to repay loans. You can also consider taking a payment break or getting financial assistance from local organizations.
A discussion with a bank or financial advisor could be a good step to take if you are worried that you are repaying debts in an inefficient way. High-interest debts should be paid off first, and you may be able to restructure all of your debts or consolidate them into one loan or credit card. This can give you a bit more time to raise the necessary funds.
It can be reassuring to know that some individuals who end up financially successful have probably struggled with money at some point in their lives and have made it through. Some people have even come back from bankruptcy to be financially independent.
As noted above, the first step to take towards monetary stability is to analyze your finances. While not always the most enjoyable task, it can be essential in moving forward towards a more sustainable financial future. You should also consider the ways in which you can lower your monthly costs and cut unnecessary expenses.
With a bit of organization and creative thinking, your financial problems can be dealt with. You should seek financial advice and improve your money management skills if you are finding that your situation is getting increasingly overwhelming.