Checking your bank account to find that you’re low on money can leave you with a sinking feeling in your stomach. With bills to pay on the horizon, it can be hard to think clearly when you’re in a bad financial spot. The fact is that this has happened to almost everybody, and while it may feel like you’re all alone in a river full of rapids with no paddle, there are solutions.
Use this guide to learn more about how you can get through financial hardship until you’ve got enough money back in your bank account to take a deep breath and relax again.
Consider a Loan
Loans are one of the most obvious ways you can pay your bills even when you’re short on cash. For many people, approaching friends and family for a little extra money in a time of need is not a problem. If you have people who want to help and can afford to do so, you’re very much in luck. Not everybody has that in their life though.
Short term loans through small lenders in person and online can help you get the cash you need to pay a bill like your gas, electricity, or even your rent. Short term loans can also be used for small business needs depending on your situation and how much cash you need.
For many people, this is an ideal solution since you can get the money quickly and repay it once you’re in the black again. By taking short term loans, many people avoid late fees that can be costly and damage their credit.
Ask for More Time
Calling your landlord and asking for more time to pay your rent is not a comfortable thing do, and it’s not a call that anybody would ever look forward to making. When you’re behind with your cash though, it may be a better alternative than borrowing money you can’t afford to pay back. This same concept can apply to doctor’s bills and even credit card companies, though you’re less likely to get a positive response from a major corporation than an understanding landlord.
Before you make calls to try and ask for more time to make a payment, consider the relationship you have with the company or person you need to pay. A landlord that you’ve had for years may be willing to listen to you if you’ve made your payments on time every month until now.
If you’re going to ask for more time to make a payment for something like rent, make sure you work out the details of when you plan to pay before picking up the phone. Even a friendly landlord may say no if you just seem like you’re trying to avoid paying, or even worse, you don’t have the ability to pay at all.
Use Your Credit
The credit game is one that can get you in a lot of trouble, but there are smart ways to take advantage of your credit so that you can use the limited cash you have to pay bills in the short-term. One of the best ways to do that is to roll over a credit card balance that is hard for you to pay in times of financial distress to a card with 0% financing for a fixed term. Many balance transfer cards offer this for six, 12, or even 18 months.
Paying something on this card during the initial zero-APR period is your best bet to avoid long-term financial trouble. Still, taking advantage of a card without accruing interest can help you get your finances on track.
In addition to balance transfer credit cards, seeking a higher limit on credit cards can get you out of short-term trouble. Just make sure you have a way to pay any money you use back or you could be digging a much deeper hole for yourself.
Getting through a rough financial patch is possible, but you may have to alter your spending habits to come out unscathed. To do that, look to save money where you can by doing things you may not normally do, including shopping for sale items and clipping coupons.
Getting rid of monthly subscription services or putting them on hold for the time being can also help the average person save $100 or more each month, especially if you have a cable package at home.
Financial distress is no fun for anybody, but you can weather the storm. Relax and take a deep breath before you do anything. Many people have gone through financial hardship before you and gotten themselves out of trouble. Keep your head up and make sound financial decisions to meet your short term and long term goals.