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Nearly everyone that doesn’t come from extreme wealth has experienced a financial crisis at some point in their life. It can feel terribly overwhelming and unsettling to wonder how you are going to make ends meet. Even the most laid-back person is bound to feel the weight of the world on their shoulders when an unexpected fiscal obligation comes out of left field.
Hopefully you have an emergency fund in place and a line item on your budget for the unexpected. But if you don’t, you are not without options. In fact, there is still a lot you can do to mitigate the damage of a significant financial setback. Read on for my top suggestions on how to make it through an unforeseen financial crisis.
Take Stock of Your Finances
Now is a great time to sit down and calculate what you have in terms of cash on hand versus the dollar amount you need to pay all of your bills and overcome the unforeseen obstacle that has you in panic mode. It can be overwhelming to realize that there is a significant difference between what you have and what you need but it’s nearly impossible to plan effectively when you don’t know what your goal is.
Sell of Anything You Can Bear to Part with That is Valuable
Do you have anything of value that you can sell on Craigslist or a similar platform for an influx of cash? No one likes making difficult decisions. But there are times where one must see past nostalgia or other obstacles standing between you and financial stability. Sure, it’s nice to have a choice piece of sports memorabilia or a valuable collection of knickknacks. But what’s even more meaningful is knowing that you are doing everything in your power to overcome the financial obstacles you are facing.
Take on a Side Hustle
If you don’t have anything you can bear to part with but you have a little downtime, you can always take on a side hustle like rideshare driving or hosting a spare room on Airbnb. A little extra effort could quickly translate to some additional income to put towards your unexpected expense(s). Companies like Uber and Lyft offer instant payment options so you can actually bring home your proceeds the same day in which you earn them. And Airbnb typically pays 24-hours after your guest checks in. In times of great financial hardship, the ability to have immediate access to your money can be crucial. If you are wondering how to get started as a rideshare driver, you can take a look at my post on that right here. If you are curious about hosting with Airbnb, have a look at my article on that right here. (insert links)
Get in Touch with Your Lenders, Creditors, and Anyone Else to Whom You Owe
If you aren’t able to come up with all the cash you need via liquidation or a side hustle, you may want to contact your lenders and creditors and utilities companies to see if you may be able to set up a payment arrangement or even defer a payment. Companies will be much more likely to agree to this type of plan if you have a solid record of making your payments on time. The major upside to this is that you will avoid late fees, penalties, and negative impact to your credit report if you manage these things proactively in concert with your creditors.
Reach Out to Friends and or Family
If you have exhausted all of your other options and still cannot meet your obligations, it may be time to contact family or friends to see if someone can help with a loan or gift. The benefit to taking a loan from family is that you are less likely to end up with predatory terms that make it impossible for you to repay your debt.
Start an Emergency Fund for Next Time
You are quite possibly in a financial bind because you didn’t have an emergency fund. No need to feel badly about that. We’ve all been there and we all have to start somewhere. My biggest piece of advice is to do everything you can to stop yourself from winding up in this situation again. A well-stocked emergency fund can get you through nearly any foreseeable financial hardship and establishing one is easier than you may think. Have a look at my post on how to start an emergency fund right here.