We have all empathized with this meme on social media. And now that we have entered a recession and thousands have lost their jobs, it is more relevant than ever. If you have been hit with a whole stack of overdue bills or have had a significant one-off expense arise that you weren’t expecting, we have a five-step guide to working your way through this tough time.
Take Out a Small Loan
Sometimes a significant unexpected expense arrives when you least expect it, and you have no choice but to pay for it straight away. A common example involves an indispensable vehicle breaking down. In a situation like this, where you need the money straight away, do some research into affordable low interest loans. You may be able to borrow just enough money to tide you over until your next payday.
Research and Prioritise
If it’s an accumulation of bills rather than a one-off expense causing all your financial drama, you may be able to get by without borrowing money. In this scenario, the first crucial step is to sort your bills by their due dates. Then, check which ones offer some leniency and which carry a penalty for late payment. With a little bit of juggling, you may be able to stretch the deadlines to make all the payments one at a time. Try not to make a habit of it, though, or you will put yourself in a situation where you are permanently behind.
Call Your Creditors
If the above option isn’t going to work and you need some extra leeway, now is the time to throw yourself at your creditor’s mercy. You will be in a much better position if you talk to them and let them know that you can’t pay than if you just let the overdue letters pile up. You may be able to negotiate a payment plan whereby you can make small payments over the next few months. If you don’t pay, they don’t get any money, so they have an incentive to work with you and offer a bit of flexibility.
Call on the Bank of Mom and Dad
Many people aren’t fortunate enough to be able to call on their parents when they find themselves in a tight financial situation, but for some, this option is viable and often interest-free. If you borrow money from your parents, or any other friends or family members for that matter, make sure that you know what the precise expectations are around how and when you will repay them. You don’t want money to harm your family relationships.
Put your Subscriptions on Hold
The idea of going without Netflix, Stan, and Disney + in the middle of a pandemic is tough to take. However, there’s a whole world of free streaming services out there that you may not have discovered yet. For the sake of saving money and getting your expenses paid, it might be worth delving into older shows and B-grade movies for a month or two. Some of the options even have content you wouldn’t have seen anywhere else. You might find a new favorite!
Rest assured that you are not the only person who is finding things tricky financially at the moment. Hang in there, follow these steps, and you will be on your way to getting things sorted in no time.