Nothing in life comes for free. So ultimately, if you need something, you will have to pay for it. Even though it is the most common and simple rule that regulates our everyday transactions, there is still a moment of horrified surprised when you realize that you may not be able to afford what you need, or that it costs a lot more than you expected. How do you best react to the worrying “I can’t pay for that??? situation? Luckily there are a few options you can try to ease the cost and address the core issue.
It doesn’t matter how much you’ve worked on defining the perfect budget plan. When you’re working on tight incomes, the first unexpected bill is going to throw your budget in the red. Most people think of car damages or emergency home and appliances repair when it comes to unanticipated bad surprises. There are a few others such as a sick pet, a laptop break, a sick day that doesn’t get paid, last-minute wedding gifts, or even a change of wardrobe for a new job. While you want to always put some savings aside for these emergencies, sometimes your budget won’t stretch enough to let you plan an emergency stash. Ultimately, you can’t foresee accidental damages and injuries. But you can make sure to get the cover you need in advance with the right insurances.
Can you postpone it?
So, imagine that you’ve just noticed a leak in your roof. The quote for a repair has arrived in the post today and it’s higher than you expected. Now the question you’re asking yourself is: Can I wait until I’ve saved enough? Some emergency repairs can be postponed, such as a broken dishwasher or painting your walls. But the thing about an emergency expense is that you need to pay now to avoid further issues. For instance, damages that put your health at risk, such as broken brake pads, leaking water heater – this could lead to an electrical fire –, or even a broken bone need to be handled as a priority. Make sure to set your priorities right so that you can make the difference between an inconvenient break and a vital repair.
Can you do it yourself?
DIY is more than a popular trend among users of Pinterest; it’s an easy way to save a lot of money if you know what you’re doing. Admittedly, DIY can also be an expensive approach is you’re new to the crafting world. So, before you decide to change your brake pads, you need to take on small projects to get used to doing things yourself. For instance, you could make your own laundry detergent for a start, and then move to bigger projects. You can also start building your DIY storage over time, accumulating tools and ingredients through your projects so that your DIY budget remains small enough to be cost-effective in the long term. What things shouldn’t you try to fix yourself? Basically, anything that relates to plumbing, electrical systems at home and in your car, and internal structures is off limits.
Do you really need it?
Even with the best of will, you might be buying more than you need. All it takes is a look at your kitchen bin. If it contains any food waste that you had to throw away before it went bad before you could eat it, then you have your proof: You bought more than you needed at the time. For the purchase of large items, fashion garments or even beauty products, you should always use a credit card to pay. This gives you the opportunity to get a quick and rapid refund when you make a return. Why should you make a return? Because you don’t need up to one-third of the things you buy, so it’s a way of saving money towards an unexpected bill.
Can you get a loan?
If the bill has to be paid rapidly, you may not have enough time to ask for help or improve your saving strategy. So, for emergencies, you can apply for same day loans which are renowned for a quick turnover and low criteria of acceptance. However, you need to make sure that you understand the repayment terms if you apply for a loan. Failing to repay will harm your credit score and only increase your financial worries!
Can you save money?
If you’ve got time to prepare for a big expense, you might have sufficient warning to change your spending habits and cut down costs on the things you use daily. Something as simple as your lunch break could cost you a few hundreds of dollars at the end of the month if you tend to eat out often. But packing your own lunch can save a lot of money in the long term. You can also train yourself to drive energy-efficiently, so that you don’t need to spend too much on gas either. And finally, keep your eyes peeled for grocery deals!
Can you ask for help?
It might be embarrassing, but sometimes your friends and family can help you to gather the money you need. However, when you’re borrowing money, you need to stick to a certain behavior to maintain your relationships. Asking for it in writing so that there is evidence for you and the lender of the transaction. This will also serve as a reminder to pay it back. Make sure you get your finance in order so that you don’t have to borrow money regularly! People will stop trusting you if you make it a habit.
Can you pay with your credit card?
Your credit card limit can affect how much you can purchase at a given time. This limit is set at the time of approval and is based on the type of credit card, your credit score and history, your income and your debt-to-income ratio. If your financial situation has changed, you could ask for the credit card limit to be reviewed.
Ultimately, there are a lot of things you can’t pay for. The secret to financial stability is to define your immediate needs vs the needs that can be delayed, not buy more than you actually need, and look for ways to spend less through DIY or smart planning. Paying with borrowed money via a lender or a credit card doesn’t have to be your sole option.