Most people have times in their lives when money is extremely tight. You have to live payday to payday until things improve, or perhaps you just have a month or two when things are tough. It can cause you a lot of stress and worry, especially if you find that during some months, you’re at risk of running out of money. Even if you plan your finances meticulously and they’re usually enough for you to live comfortably, you can have months when you’re not sure if your money will go far enough.
Although it can cause you to panic, it’s best to stay calm and try to form a plan as soon as you can. The sooner you come up with a solution, the easier it will be to avoid further problems which is why I’ve compiled these 9 quick ways to help yourself if you are short on money this month.
Use Your Emergency Fund
The first thing you can do if you need a bit more cash is dip into your emergency fund. You do have an emergency fund, right? If you’ve been smart and had the ability to build one, it should be easy to take the money you need from your savings to help you survive for the rest of the month. Use it to pay off a bill or buy your food for the last week of the month. Unfortunately, it can be hard for some people to build an emergency fund. Saving is hard if you live paycheck to paycheck. But if you can save even a small amount, it could be useful when you need it most.
Take a Close Look at Your Budget
Before you panic too much, take a close look at your usual budget and how much you need to spend for the rest of the month. Are there any regular payments you can cancel for this month? What can you cut back on so that your expenses are more affordable? For example, perhaps you usually give yourself a certain amount to spend on food. If you’ve got another expense to take care of, cutting back on your grocery spend for the month can help to make things more manageable. Eating slightly less exciting food for a few weeks isn’t going to kill you, although it might get you down a little. You can save in a variety of ways, from shopping at a different store to cooking your meals in bulk.
We all know that borrowing money should be seen as pretty much a last resort. Most loans aren’t really worth the cost of the interest you’ll have to pay. But there are exceptions. Have you heard of Polar Credit?
Polar Credit aims to bridge the gap to mainstream finance so you can progress to lower cost credit and not pay the higher fees that go with payday lending. At the same time, this could help you rebuild your credit rating.
Polar Credit offers a credit line which allows you to borrow money as and when you need it. Interest is paid only on the amount of money drawn out of the credit line, not on the total credit limit agreed, and repayments can be tailored based on an individual’s current financial circumstances. Plus there’s only a minimum repayment required each month and you can borrow as little as £25.
In addition, Polar Credit offers:
- Access to funds on demand
- Can be faster to open a credit line account than a credit card account
- Significantly lower interest rates when compared to payday loans
- More flexible repayment options than short term loans
- No guarantor required
- Flexibility to borrow only the money you need, when you need it
- Interest only accrues on the amount that is borrowed, not the full credit limit
- Can help you rebuild your credit score if used appropriately
- Helpful for short term money shortfalls
When you have a one-off payment you need to take care of, finding something that you can sell for extra cash is a good idea. It’s not going to work as a long-term solution unless you can set up a retail business, but it will help you out when you’re in a bind. It’s a good alternative to borrowing money. There could be lots of things in your home that you can sell. Perhaps you have clothes you no longer wear, old books and DVDs, gadgets and electronics, or anything else you don’t use enough. You can start selling on Amazon, Facebook or other useful sites like Craigslist. Or you could sell directly to friends, or hold a garage or yard sale.
If you’ve recently made a purchase and haven’t used your new item yet, you could consider returning it and get your money back. Before you take your item back, you need to check consumer laws and store policy on returning items. Most of the time, you’ll need your receipt to be able to get your money back. You might also have to leave the item in re-sellable condition. For example, you might need to return items of clothing with the tags still on them or other items in the original box. Of course, if you find that something you bought is damaged when you get it home and open it, you can also return it. However, be aware that some stores might only offer you store credit, and not cash.
Borrow Money from Friends or Family
Some people are wary of borrowing money from people they know and love, but others are comfortable with it. It can all depend on the dynamics of your relationship and your attitude towards money. Borrowing from family can sometimes be easier than doing the same with friends. You might both have more of a relaxed attitude about paying the money back, which can mean there’s less tension. If you borrow from friends, it can lead to resentment more easily if the money isn’t paid back promptly. Borrowing money from a friend or family member can be helpful, but it’s not for everyone.