Let it be your personal or business finance, unexpected expenses can cause a real dent in your finances. While you’d ideally have a slush fund with enough spare change in it to cover anything that may come up, this isn’t always possible.
So what do you do when disaster strikes and you’re left without a dollar to your name? The first thing to remember is not to panic, yes that’s easier said than done but now is when you’re most vulnerable to those who take advantage of people who are a little down on their luck.
Here are some strategies to try before resulting to drastic measures:
1- Borrow it the Right Way
Your first thought in this situation is probably to pull out your credit card or seek help of friends and family. Which is the wisest choice, but there can be times, when these primary funding sources might not be readily available. That’s when you look for other short term loans like payday loans in case of personal finance or merchant cash advance in case of a business emergency.
While this is understandable, be careful when making your selection as the fine print can be a killer. Instead of resorting to borrowing from a payday company or maxing out your plastic, see if you qualify for a low interest or no interest loan. The repayment terms and hidden extras in traditional systems are generally designed to leave you high and dry but loans of this type won’t end up costing you much more than what you borrowed.
2- Pay it Off
If you only need a small amount of cash to get you through until your next pay and you’ve got a bill due this income cycle, consider asking your bill collector if you can put it on a payment plan.
You’ll still have to pay the full bill but doing so in installments instead of as a lump sum might be enough to get you out of a bind. You should consider doing this even if you need more than what you can access by doing so as it means there will be less than you need to source from elsewhere.
3- Sell/Rent Some Stuff
Nobody wants to part with their belongings but if you have items that you don’t use or need, then selling them could be a viable option. You don’t have to get rid of all your possessions and leave yourself with only the basics but luxury items that have no sentimental value can give your bank account the boost it needs to get you through this tough time. If you really can’t stand the thought of selling them, consider leaving them with a pawnbroker but be aware that this will mean you’ll have to pay fees and interest in the future if you want to get them back.
Moreover, if you do not have anything to sell, you may consider renting out some stuff, i.e. in case of a business, you can offer shared office space, can signup your office cars for rideshare and so on.
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4- Use Your Safety Net
Swallowing your pride and asking for help can almost be more painful than going without but if you truly cannot make ends meet any other way, then it’s time to go to your friends and family or a local charity. If no one in your immediate support network can help you out, there are other places to turn. There’s no shame in needing a little extra assistance to make it through tough times.
Summing it up!
There will be times where it feels like nothing you do can get you out of the hole you’ve found yourself in, but remember that it’s always darkest before the dawn. Avoid taking desperate measures that may just dig you deeper and try to think logically before you make any decisions. There are ways to move past this, you just need to keep your head up and continue to move forward.