If an emergency happens, money is often the only thing that can fix it.
Now, you might think that the only way to get money is to take out a loan, but this may not be your only option. It might not even be your best option.
Another way to get the money that you need is to simply cut your other expenses. Even the tightest budget can be cut in an emergency, and here are some ways to do just that.
Eat For Cheap
This is by far the easiest way to get extra money in your pocket. Now, you might think that you are already eating cheap, but you are probably wrong.
If you eat fast food every day, for example, you are just burning money. Even a low cost fast food meal is around 6 dollars. Over the course of a week, that is a minimum of 30 dollars. Compare that to the cost of a loaf of bread, some lunch meat and a large bag of chips, about 8 dollars, and you can see the potential savings.
When you need to save money, you need to cut out all prepared meals. Fast food is out, meal delivery is out and you should cook all of your meals from scratch. If you are not a cook, do not worry, it is an easy skill to learn and the internet can help you greatly. There are hundreds of websites that want to teach you to cook and there are thousands of recipes online.
When cooking at home, save the most money by focusing on recipes that use very cheap base ingredients. Think rice, potatoes, beans and pasta. These are all ingredients that you can serve for just pennies a serving. Use them exclusively and the average family of four can take a 400 to 600 dollar a month food budget and take it down to 100 to 200 dollars.
Skip A Payment
With lender permission of course.
If you are current on an auto or installment loan, call them and ask if you can defer a payment. Many will happily do so, but you must be current. This means that you need to do it before you fall behind.
With a deferment, a lender is basically moving a payment to the end of your loan term. Your interest will still be accruing but you will get to skip your payment for a month. That can give you the money that you need to handle your money problem.
Depending on your lender, if approved for a deferment, you may be able to handle everything over the phone or you may be required to fax in a form. Every lender is different.
Put Memberships On Hold
Many of your monthly bills are probably things that you have singed contracts for. This might be a cable contract, a cell phone contract or even a gym membership. You can not just cancel these things to save money without incurring big penalties.
If you need to save money right now, though, you may have an option. Many of these companies will allow you to simply place your membership on hold. They generally charge a few bucks for this service and the time on hold does not count towards satisfying your contract term. Still, it is a great way to save some money in the here and now.
Negotiate With Creditors
Even if you are short of money, you have power that you do not know about and that is the ability to negotiate.
Most smart creditors know that if you get behind on payments, you are much more likely to default on a loan or a debt. Because of this, they are likely to work with you to get their money. Collection costs would be much higher than the cost of negotiating and possibly making a few concessions.
If you are going to be short this month and need to clear some space in the budget, call your creditors. Tell them that you have had a financial emergency and that you would like them to work with you. They may be able to reduce payments, extend deadlines or even allow you to pay just the interest on a debt.
You never know what a creditor might be willing to do for you until you call. It is always better to maintain communications with them.