Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Coping with a Financial Emergency

Almost everyone has had those weeks when money was especially tight. Perhaps, the kids suddenly got sick making you take several days off work or the car broke down in the middle of the interstate. Alternatively, maybe the dog got sick and had to go to the vet or your work shoes developed a hole. Regardless of the reason, if you find money tight for a week or two, then you need to develop a plan.

Make a Plan

The first step is to develop a plan when money is tight. Think about the things that must be paid before your next payday. You and your family should set the money aside for your rent or mortgage payment. Then, while it may be beans and cornbread, you and your family must eat. Remember that you will need gas in the car to get to work unless taking public transportation is convenient. Keep working down your list of necessities until there is no more money. Downsize the family vacation this year if needed in order to better utilize income for more important expenses.

Get a Loan

You may find it necessary to get a loan. Before you use this option, it is best to do some shopping around. Take the time to look up unsecured personal loans online to get a grasp of the terms and conditions before borrowing. If credit is good, you can also look into a larger loan from a bank or credit union. Regardless of the type of loan that you take out, remember to consider how you will do personal loan repayment. The faster you pay back the money, the less interest you will have to pay in most cases. In fact, when it comes to short-term loans of no more than $2000, it’s best to pay it back in full by the first due date.

Negotiate with Your Creditors

Some creditors may be willing to negotiate with you to allow you to put off a payment for a few days or even skip a month. The key is that you must talk to them before the payment is late. Likewise, if you are going to be late on other payments, then try calling them and exploring your options. Often, creditors are willing to work with you if you do not use the privilege to often.

Build an Emergency Fund

Unfortunately, this will not be the last time that an emergency turns your finances upside down. Therefore, it is best to have an emergency fund. Over a period of time, you should aim to build up three to six months worth of expenses in this account. Then, you can simply go get the money when life happens, and pay it back to yourself at a later date.

Emergencies are a part of life. Therefore, you should do your best to prepare for those emergencies by having a completely funded emergency fund in place. When that is not possible, then consider which bills must be paid immediately and which may be put off until later. Borrowing in a pinch may be the only option, but make sure to have a plan for repaying the money quickly.