We’ve all been there: you’ve been doing well, keeping to your budget and then wham!
An unexpected expense pops up and completely wrecks your plans. Even though you’ve been saving carefully, you don’t have enough to cover that expense and it has to be sorted out now.
What do you do?
Here are some tips that can help you find the cash you need when you’re stuck.
#1 Selling Stuff
This is an oldie but a goodie. Take a look around your home.
Is there anything that you can part with?
Go through your books, your movies, your clothes, etc. Dig through your closets.
You might be surprised at what you find! Set up an impromptu yard sale or put a list of what you’re selling up in your apartment building’s mail area.
Make the rounds of consignment and stores that will give you cash for used items like books, music, movies, etc. Put up ads on Craigslist.
You will be amazed at how quickly you can offload your old stuff for cash–especially if you include pictures and create a well-written ad.
#2 Cash Advance
If you have a credit card you should be able to take out a cash advance.
Some banks even make this transfer possible online so the whole process will take about thirty seconds.
Be careful here, though: the interest rates on cash advances accumulates quickly and is higher than what you would pay on a regular purchase.
#3 Personal Loans
If you don’t have a credit card, you might be able to take out an advance on your next paycheck. Start this process with your employer as those advances usually aren’t charged interest or fees.
If your workplace doesn’t have a system for drawing against your paycheck, there are lenders out there who will help you, even if your credit is terrible.
It is important, though, that you not jump on the first quick loan solution you find online. There are many scam artists out there waiting to take advantage of you or even steal your identity!
Look for signs of security. For example, on the MaxLend.com website you can easily find security credentials on their main page. And, if you click on the URL you will see that it has the secure https:// mapping.
These are both good signs. The terms of your loan are also listed plainly on that front page so you don’t have to worry about what to expect. Any lender that does not have these signals for security should be avoided.
Make sure, if you do choose to take out a loan, that you do not borrow more than you know you can pay back.
Most of these lenders are willing to work with you if you find you can’t afford to pay the loan back on time, but there are usually hefty fees assigned to payment extensions.
#4 Asking for Help
This is something most people put off until they have exhausted every single other option available to them. That’s understandable, but sometimes you have to put on your big kid pants and stop avoiding the unavoidable.
Here’s the good news: because we’re living in the future, there are ways to ask your friends and family for financial help without having to call on the phone or beg for cash. Here are two that are very popular:
Crowdsourcing: sites like GoFundMe are fantastic for emergency situations. People can donate either on the books or anonymously and you get to keep however much you’ve raised.
You can also set up the campaign to offer something in trade for people’s help. Get creative! Offer to send postcards, draw sketches, take photos, etc.
There are lots of ways to set up a successful crowdfunding campaign. Even better, crowdfunding campaigns are easy to share so your friends and loved ones can share your message to their own network with just a couple of clicks on Facebook!
Micro Loans: If you are adamant about wanting to pay people back for their generosity (and that’s admirable), set up your funding page through a micro loans site that specializes in social lending.
These companies put the word out through your social networks and contacts that you’re in a financial bind and need help. Your lenders chip into one fund sent through the Micro Loan processor.
Then, you pay back that processor and the company distributes those payments to the original lenders.
What is most important right now is that you don’t panic. Panicking won’t help you find the funding you need.
Getting creative and using what you’ve got? Will get the job done. So sit down and start brainstorming. You’ll be surprised at all of the ways you can get the funding you need!
So what unique ways have you gone about raising extra money when you’re in a tough situation? Share your thoughts and comments below.