Unanticipated financial constraints can easily leave you feeling blindsided and vulnerable. We’ve all had to deal with financial emergencies at some point in our lives. Medical expenses, home and car repairs or job loss can lead to extremely stressful situations.
If you’re wondering what to do in a financial emergency, you’ve come to the right place. No matter what happens, you still need to pay the rent, your bills and put food on the table. The best way to handle this is to tap into your emergency funds. But what if you don’t have any? Many of us are living paycheck-to-paycheck and don’t have the means to save for a rainy day. In that case, we’ve prepared some tips to help you address your financial needs.
Don’t Panic and Evaluate the Situation
Although some anxiety is understandable, since you’ll have a million thoughts going through your mind, it’s not very helpful. Try your best to calm down and evaluate the situation so you can make the right decisions. Ask yourself:
- What caused this emergency?
- Is this a minor financial emergency?
- Exactly how much money do you need to get out of it?
- How much time do you have to get this money?
Once you’ve answered these key questions, you can look at what options you have.
Prioritize and Cut Down on Expenses
The next step is to cut back on your expenses as much as you can. Channel the money you save towards covering the amount you need for your emergency. This is easier said than done because although not all expenses are essential, they improve our quality of life. Keep in mind that this is temporary. You need to prioritize the most important bills first. These are the ones that keep a roof over your head and food in your fridge.
Cancel any subscriptions you don’t absolutely need and switch to a cheaper cell-phone plan if possible. If you had the habit of going to a restaurant or ordering take-out regularly, for a short time, consider cooking at home and packing your lunch. Again, if possible, switch to public transportation. It will allow you to save on gas money.
Get a Loan
After you cut back on your expenses, and create a budget, calculate what’s left. How much more do you need to get out of this emergency? You might find it embarrassing to ask your family members or friends for a loan. However, this should be your first option when it comes to borrowing money. It doesn’t have to be the entire amount. Every bit helps. Plus, since you won’t be paying any interest, it will help you sort things out faster.
Then you’ll want to call your current lenders. See if you can negotiate a temporary delay in payments and reduced interest rates. Don’t wait for your account to become delinquent to do this. Most lenders will prefer to get some money than no money.
After you negotiate with your existing lenders, you can look for a convenient online loan such as the ones provided by Net Pay Advance. The best part about online loans is that you can compare rates easily. You can also look up any terms and conditions you’re not clear on or need a definition. Another major plus is that the process is much faster than for a traditional bank.
Prepare for Next Time
Once you’re out of your current difficulties, take the lessons you’ve learned here. Use these lessons on prioritizing expenses and saving money to start building an emergency fund. Ideally, you should have enough to cover your basic expenses for a few months. If you can’t spare that much, don’t worry. As we said earlier, every bit helps.
Next time you have an emergency, you’ll have some money set aside. This means you’ll need to borrow less, you’ll save on interest rates, and it will help you feel much calmer.