Don’t Panic: How to Deal with a Financial Emergency

Whether it’s a recent job loss, an unforeseen medical claim, or major home repair, having to face an unexpected financial expense can quickly create a sense of uncertainty and stress. But don’t panic just yet—our four tips will help you successfully navigate your way through a financial emergency.

Contact Your Bill Providers

When you’re in the midst of dealing with a financial emergency, you may find yourself having to prioritize which of your monthly bills receive immediate payment and which bills may need to be paid at a later date. 

For bills that you’re not able to pay immediately, you’ll want to contact your bill provider as soon as possible. No matter what type of bill—credit card, utility bill, car payment, and so on—the sooner you can communicate your financial hardship, the easier it will be to work out an alternate arrangement such as an extension date or payment plan. 

Remember, many bill providers are willing to work with their customers during financial hardships, but the key is open communication. Don’t wait until you are behind on your payments before reaching out. 

Reduce Spending Where Possible

While it may be difficult to predict the lasting effects of a financial emergency, making a conscious effort to try and reduce your monthly spending can help your budget tremendously. 

Take time to review all of your current expenses. This will allow you to determine which of your costs you can realistically remove or reduce in your monthly budget. For example, start with the “nice-to-haves” that aren’t vital to your survival such as cable packages, gym memberships, and any other subscription services. 

Next, think about your personal spending habits such as dining out, weekend entertainment, and shopping. Are there areas within these categories you can either cut back on, enjoy at home, or find a better deal on? 

Anywhere you can eliminate an expense, no matter how small, will prove beneficial. Aim to add back $100 to your budget by finding five ways a month to reduce your spending by $20 each. 

Sell Unwanted Personal Items

If you find yourself in a financial pinch, consider selling some of your personal items. Do you have a closet, garage, or basement full of unwanted or unused items? Now’s a great time to go through those items and gather up anything you think you may be able to sell. 

Host a yard sale or post items for sale online using apps and sites like Craigslist, eBay, letgo, OfferUp, Poshmark, ThredUp, and NextDoor. Not only are these options great ways to earn some extra cash, but they also provide the perfect excuse to declutter and organize areas in your home. Plus, you may be pleasantly surprised at the popularity (and value) your unwanted items have!

Find Side Work

Another helpful approach for offsetting the stress of a financial emergency is to try and find additional ways to make money. If your schedule allows, you may consider getting a second part-time or weekend job. If you find yourself limited on time, one-off gigs such as dog walking or babysitting may prove more flexible. Have a unique skill set to offer? Consulting or freelancing may be a viable option for you.  

Ultimately, if you decide to take on a side job, your goal should be to find something that is both manageable and enjoyable. After all, the last thing you want to do during a financial emergency is to add any additional stress. 

Remember You’re Not Alone

Are you currently dealing with a financial emergency? Don’t panic. At Credit Direct, we can work with you to help you get the extra funding you need so that you can worry less. With personal loans available up to $40,000, our online application takes just minutes to complete with no effect to your credit score.

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