16 articles Tag finances

5 Inevitable Costs You Must Be Prepared For

Keeping your finances on the right track is always going to be a matter of making sure that you are preparing for the worst even when you are hoping for the best. Here are some inevitable costs that you probably won’t be able to escape in your life. 

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A Funeral

Though it might seem peculiar, we can start with the very last cost that you will need to think about that is completely unavoidable. What makes this cost special is that you won’t be paying the price. Instead, this will fall to your dependents. That’s why, believe it or not, a lot of people once they reach a certain age, will set up a funeral fund. This is designed to pay for all the costs of a funeral including the casket, tombstone, funeral photography and even plots of land. It might sound morbid, but it’s something that you might eventually want to think about. 

Children’s Education

You could also think about the cost of your child’s education. Now, it’s worth noting that you are under no obligation to pay for the costs of your child’s higher education. However, this is something that many parents will aim for to help their child avoid unnecessary levels of debt later in life. If you are worried about the cost, then it’s recommended that you do think about looking at the average cost that you will need to pay for your child’s college tuition. This will help ensure that you can set a saving goal. You should also look at savings accounts and investment opportunities that will ensure you can quickly grow these funds. 

Home Renovation

It’s also worth thinking about the cost of a home renovation. You might think that you can avoid this cost, but don’t be so sure. If you buy a home, then at some point, you will need to complete renovation work. Renovating your home will mean that you can deal with issues related to wear and tear that will limit the value of the property overtime. 

It can also ensure that your home continues to be a safe and comfortable place to live for you and your family. This means that you might also be able to avoid selling your house to move to another property. Instead, with the right renovations, your house could become a forever home. It might also be worth thinking about emergency renovations that you might need to complete. There are lots of examples including flooding damage that will need to be corrected without any delays. 

Retirement

Next, you should think about your retirement. It’s never too early to start thinking about saving for your retirement. In fact, experts agree that you should be putting money away for your retirement as early as your twenties. In doing so, you can guarantee that your retirement does not catch you by surprise. Don’t forget, once you retire, you won’t have a fixed income to fall  back on. As such, you will need to make sure to save enough money overtime to afford everything that you want during your retirement. This could include a trip around the world or something more practical such as care facilities when you begin to lose your independence. A financial planner will explain exactly how much you need to save for your retirement plan. 

Transport

Finally, if you have a family, then you likely will need to consider the cost of transport. Most people will want to buy a car at some point that is large enough for everyone in the household. This can be quite an expensive purchase and, similar to a home, a choice like this probably won’t fit squarely into your budget. Instead, you need to make sure that you look at other options. You can save up the money to buy a vehicle. Or, you can think about purchasing a vehicle on finance. If you purchase a vehicle on finance, then you can make it easier to afford over an extended period. If you live in a city you might want to skip the car purchase and instead rely on public transport. It’s a great way to keep things cost friendly. 

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You can also think about purchasing a car second-hand rather than brand new. This is another way to save and spend less overall. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the key costs that you do need to be prepared for in the future. By recognizing that these costs are somewhat inevitable, you will be able to make sure that they don’t catch you off guard.

Tips For Helping Your Children Learn About Money

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One of the best things about being a child is that you don’t have the responsibilities of an adult – including the financial ones. Yet while it is nice to leave our little ones in the ignorance of bliss, it can also be a real blessing to them in later life if you teach them about responsibilities as soon as you can. If you are good with money, then you will have a lot more control over your life, more freedom to do what you want to do with your life, and also the flexibility and fewer constraints with your choices in life. You will be able to go on more holidays or have the luxury to quit your job if you don’t like it and live off your savings while you search for a new one. The benefits from having financial stability really are innumerable.

This is why it is a good idea to teach your children about money and how to save from a young age. They should grow up with a better understanding of finances and be on a more solid foot in their adult life. You can teach them about everything from how to save, what a mortgage is, and about Safety Net Credit should they need it (perhaps this is also something that you have experience with, so can impart this wisdom too.) Here we have put together some top tips for helping your children to learn about money.

Give them a budget and see how they spend it

It is a good idea to give your child some pocket money each week or month and then see how they spend it. Take them out shopping and let them purchase things that they think are important or that they need and see what they spend their funds on. Remind them that once that money they have is gone, they will have to wait another week or money before they get any more. If they ask for extra, don’t just give it to them. Instead, see if they can earn it through doing jobs around the home. This teaches them that in order to get more money they will have to work for it – it doesn’t just magically appear in front of them when they need it.

Teach them about the value of things

As a child, it can be hard to learn the different values of things and this can be a skill that when taken into adult life, leads to people getting into large amounts of debt. To avoid this, teach your child about the value of things. Explain how the same item (such as TV, cars, or even fruits and vegetables in a supermarket) can vary greatly in price. Explain why this is and the differences between them. This should help them to learn the value of items. You could also play a game where they have to guess the prices of items before you show it to them. They might be a bit surprised at some of the answers – and you might be a bit shocked at some of their guesses! If you play this game each time you go shopping, see how they improve and soon have a better indication of the value of things.

Let them earn money by doing household chores

As an adult, the way that you will earn your money is through doing work. Teach your child when they are young this lesson by giving them jobs to do around the house in exchange for money. You could set different tasks at different prices, for example, they get money for washing up, for hoovering, for tidying their bedroom or for washing the car. By showing them this is the best way to earn, they will learn that the harder they work, the more money they can potentially earn and it will also be a good way to teach them responsibilities too. 

Lead by a good example

Children pick up habits from their parents – both the good and the bad ones. This is why it is so important that you lead by a good example. Try not to take them fun shopping all the time and show them that there are just as many other fun pastimes. Try not to be super frivolous with your cash, purchasing items such as fast fashion pieces that you wear a few times and then either breaks or you get rid of as you don’t like it anymore. If your child asks you questions, be as honest as possible with your answers and explain about credit, debts, and overdrafts so they know about these.

Have your child come with you to open up a bank account

A bank account is something that your child will have right from when they are a little child up through their adult life. This is why you should take them to open up their own account when you can. There are a host of accounts out there that are tailored for children, where you can put in a budget each week or month and it is restricted with what they can use it on. They also can’t have things such as an overdraft. If you put money into their account and teach them how to use their bank card, they will learn the value of money digitally. They can even have an app that shows them what they have spent – something that you could go through with them each week, showing them further the value of money and what their spending habits are. 

These are just a few ways that you can help your children to learn more about money and become spending savvy. It is very important that your child is as financially secure in the future as they can be and by following these top tips you know that you are setting them up for as much success as possible. What are some top tips you do to ensure that your children are as financially savvy as possible? Let us know in the comments below!

Making Your Savings Go Further

Saving should be part of every financial strategy. You can’t plan budget management without making sure you can put money aside. Indeed, your savings could keep your budget afloat in case of an emergency, whether it’s an unexpected bill or prolonged unemployment. There’s a reason it’s called savings. It’s because your savings can save you. 

The typical 50/30/20 rule suggests that the household should spend 50% of the net income on essentials, 30% on non-essential purchases, and put the remaining 20% into the savings pot. Ideally, to make the 50/30/20 rule work, you need to monitor cash flow closely. Indeed, the best way to turn 20% of your income into savings is to reduce your essential and non-essential costs. Could you cut down your electricity bills by switching providers, for instance? How much can you save through meal preps that prevent food waste and takeaway expenses? The bottom line, if you’re going to make your savings work harder, you need to make saving money possible in the first place. Unfortunately, successfully grown savings come at a cost. You could pay taxes on your savings. Here are some ways to make savings more affordable. 

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Look out for options to cut unforeseen taxes

Less than 5% of tax-payers in the UK pay tax on their savings interest. The personal savings allowance (PSA) lets you earn up to £1,000 in interest without worrying about taxes. However, your income tax rate will determine the PSA. High-earners may not benefit from any allowance, which means that savings do cost money. Yet, there are still strategies that can cut down tax expenses. Retirement savings, for instance, as highlighted in a post on Mega Backdoor Roths can be subjected to financial strategies that maximise savings for high-earners. ISAs are also left tax-free for as long as you don’t take money from those accounts. 

Invest it in a small business

Sometimes, your savings are going to work better for you if you keep investing them further. Investing in a small business, for instance, can cut down your tax expenses, and ensure that your savings can carry on working for you. When you join a small business as an investor, you ultimately build an investment path for your savings. While there is no guarantee that you’ll receive a return for every pound you invest, the idea is to select companies that are more likely to become successful. 

Alternatively, you can consider investing in your own venture. This could be the opportunity to launch your side hustle and grow it. 

Reach out to a financial advisor to create a portfolio

An investment portfolio is designed to bring your savings and finances to the next level. Unfortunately, unless you know what you are doing, it can be tricky to create the right portfolio for your budget. Financial advisors tend to recommend low to medium risk investments with the highest returns to their clients who are unfamiliar with risk management strategies. Typically, this would include a combination of safe bonds, real-estate crowdfunding, dividend-paying stocks, annuities, and even peer-to-peer lending. 

Savings, and especially savings for high-earners, tend to come with a tax expense. This can make it tricky for individuals to build up an effective savings strategy. However, there are different tips to avoid the tax hassle while making your savings work harder for you. An investment portfolio, for instance, can make sense of your income, dividing it into actively invested savings, and savings kept into designated accounts.

4 Ways To Teach Your Kids About Finances

The decision to impart basic financial lessons to your children is the right step in shaping their attitudes about money and how to spend it. A study by the Personal Finance Education Group revealed that about 98% of children from eleven to seventeen have some money of their own. Ignoring the responsibility of teaching your kids how to be financially-savvy may lead them to make unwise financial decisions with long-term impacts. Here are some ways you can teach your children about finance.

  • Do not engage in impulse buying

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Have you ever gone out shopping with your kids, and they began to hound you to purchase something entirely out of your budget? It is tempting to give in to their puppy-eyed pleas but fight it! Let them understand that you came out to shop with a budget, and anything extra would affect your planned list. Explain how it may be more beneficial to wait it out until another time. You could employ a strategy to deny the kids something else you already planned to get them in exchange for what they are demanding; this would teach them to make the right decisions. 

  • Show them their toys cost money

Are you aware of how your kids may misuse their toys and end up damaging them? Instead of cautioning them verbally, you could consider showing them how much it costs to buy them. For example, if your child has a piggy bank, make them take out a few pounds and go with them to the store to buy another set of toys. Even for a five-year-old, this practical lesson makes them feel first-hand the emotions that come with parting with money. 

  • Make your kids earn commissions; not allowances

Avoid the habit of handing out money to your kids simply because they ask for it. Regardless of how much you love them, this will make them nurture a sense of entitlement, making financial independence difficult in the future. Institute commission earnings and not allowances; when your child completes chores, you can pay them according to a set payment plan, complete with what makes them eligible for pay. However, when you notice they made an extra effort to perform their chores, add a bit more as an incentive or bonus. Doing this teaches your child that money is earned and is worth saving.

  • Use a transparent piggy bank

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It is always a great idea to foster the habit of savings in young children. However, the trick to making your child see their money ‘grow’ is by ensuring that their piggy bank jar is a transparent one; every coin or note you drop in there is a visual indicator of their ‘wealth.’ It’s a wonderful way to build their desire to grow wealth through completing simple chores or being disciplined. You can also use it as an opportunity to teach your kids strong lessons about money and finance. Consider using services such as Debt to Success System BBB and make your lessons practical and easy for your child to comprehend.

It is never too early to begin to impart simple financial lessons to your kids. Money management is a skill worth grasping very early on in life. What you should do is maximize every opportunity to make these lessons fun and practical. Remember that children learn through play.

Acting Quickly, But Not Rashly, When Hit By Financial Emergency

Whether you’ve suddenly had to deal with a major expense out of the blue or you’ve found yourself saddled with new debt due to poor planning, time is often of the essence when a financial emergency arises. Fail to deal with it soon enough and you can start spiralling into unmanageable debt. However, while acting quick, you want to make sure you’re not making any rash decisions. Here are a few tips to ensure that.

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Start finding ways to cut down your finances

Having some financial flexibility so you can cut your costs as needed and when needed is important. As such, it’s a good idea to look at some basic money-saving tips and, most importantly, to put together a budget. You need to get a good idea of what you’re making and how much you’re spending and where to find the wiggle room you need to pay money aside to deal with debt and other financial emergencies. You can’t afford to ignore bad financial habits, so be sure to track absolutely everything.

Get your creditors in the loop

If you have any debts or credit arrangements, make sure you address those first of all. The sooner you inform creditors of your situation and the difficulty you might have in paying them back, the easier it could be to negotiate them into something like an IVA. What is an IVA? These individual voluntary agreements allow you to freeze the interest on debts and pay them off with assurances, helping you avoid bankruptcy in the long run while making sure creditors have a formal agreement that they will get their money.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is

There are some unsavoury financial services that specifically target people who are in need of help but can lead to even further debt and trouble. As of late, the payday loan has come under a lot of fire. It can see you get money quickly, but with super high-interest rates that can get you in a lot more trouble in the long-run. Don’t look for any short-term solutions and know what you have to pay on any loans you might take out.

Have emergency savings ready for the next time

One thing you should always expect is the unexpected. You might not know what form it will take, but you should anticipate that a financial emergency will, at some point, be part of your future. As such, some people might recommend keeping an overdraft open that you only tap into for emergencies. However, to help you save money, it might be a better idea to start putting together an emergency fund, as well as to make sure that you are appropriately insured to limit the kinds of costs that can rock your finances.

Whatever choices you take, ensure that you understand what, if any, costs come with them. There’s no point taking on new loans, for instance, if you will be no more able to pay them off in future than you are now.

Make Driving as Affordable as Possible

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Of course, having your own car and taking to public roads is going to be a relatively expensive investment. When it comes down to it, cars tend to be people’s second biggest outgoing after their homes and accommodation. But, for many of us, having a car really is worth the cost. It makes life more convenient for us, means we can get from A to B as and when we please and with the price of public transport constantly on the rise, can actually prove a wise choice to make. There’s always room for improvement though. If you’re planning on getting a car, here are a few simple steps you can take to make it as cheap a venture as possible!

Saving When Buying Your Car

Let’s focus on the main outgoing you’ll face first – the cost of the car itself. Cars don’t tend to come all too cheap. Not decent ones anyway. But there are a few things you can do to reduce the initial upfront cost of getting yourself a set of wheels. You’ll find that you have a number of different options on your plate when you buy your car. The cheapest way to buy any car is always going to be to pay for it outright. But who’s really sat on enough disposable money to do this? Most people, instead, opt for finance options. This involves taking out a loan or finance agreement to fund the purchase of your vehicle. When finding an agreement, browse the market. Brands like Direct Car Credit will make the process simple for you. You can also use price comparison sites to compare different loans or packages and their interest rates. The lower the interest rate, the less you’ll end up forking out for your car in the long run!

Reducing Insurance Costs

Insurance is an essential cost. You legally need it before you even start driving out in public. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to pay a whole lot for it. There are a number of different policies out there, so determine your needs and determine which policies cater to them. Then, compare the prices attached to the ones that tick your boxes. Again, price comparison sites can come in handy here. You can find much cheaper deals when you use these sites. Have a look at the Costco auto insurance program also, as this is an amazing way for you to save money on your insurance. If you’re settled on one insurer but have found a cheaper insurance deal elsewhere, it’s always worth asking if your preferred insurance will match the offer. Many will in order to maintain your custom.

These are just a couple of areas you might want to focus on when you’re looking into buying a new car. While they may just be two of the costs attached to a car, they are the main costs. You need to buy a car in order to have one and you need to insure it in order to drive it. Hopefully, you’ll be able to make the whole thing financially feasible!

How To Decide If You Can Afford a New Car

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Many experts believe that there is no worse investment than buying a new car. It can be seen as a huge waste of money and a piece of metal that will depreciate in value the second you drive it off the forecourt. But you may have decided that buying new instead of second hand is best for you and your family. So here are some things to consider when deciding if you can afford to buy a new car. 

Maybe you dread the thought of constant repairs or want a car that is in line with today’s emissions and safety technology. Or maybe you just love that new car smell. There really are many different possibilities. But the big question to ask yourself is- can you really afford it? 

Put Down a Downpayment 

If you don’t have the funds to buy your chosen car outright, you’ll need to put down a little bit of cash to secure the deal. Companies such as Really Easy Car Credit could help you get the amount that you need. The ideal amount to put down is approximately 20%. Sit down and do the figures and see if you can afford it. 

Take a four-year loan

The most common length of loan for a car or other auto vehicle is approximately six years. However this could prove a bit too long. Consider taking a loan of around four years. It a good way to minimise the interest and ensure you’re not paying more than you have to. It also a good way to determine what you can afford. If you can’t meet the requirements for a loan payments of four years, it’s more than likely that you can’t afford the car in the long term. 

Only use 10 percent of your income

One final point is to ensure that you’re only using 10 percent at most of your monthly income towards your car payments. Any more than that and you can see yourself drifting into the red financially. Account for everything, including fuel. Car insurance, MOT fees and even parking tickets in this amount.

Stay within these boundaries and you’re looking at being able to realistically afford the car that you want. 

 

Bonus tip – Consider trading-in your car for another used vehicle

 

Maybe after reading this, you’ve decided that buying new isn’t for you, at least not right now.  In that case, maybe you should think about buying “newer”.  There are basically two ways you can go about this.

One option is to sell your current vehicle and then use the funds to buy a replacement.  In theory, this could get you the best deal.  In practice, it can turn out to be a whole lot of pain for little to no gain.

In short, the internet has made it really easy for buyers to research sales prices for just about any type of vehicle.  This means that they’ll almost certainly be looking for a meaningful discount on the “dealer price”.  To be fair, this will reflect the fact that they won’t get the same level of protection on the sale.  They’ll also, presumably, be paying the full price up-front.

The other option is just to trade in your existing vehicle for a newer one at a reputable dealer.  For example, you can just browse the used Vauxhall cars for sale from Pentagon and pick your favorite.  Then contact the dealer and ask what they can offer as a trade-in deal.

You’ll probably find that the discount the dealer will offer you will compare very favorably to a realistic private sale price.  What’s more, you can generally also get finance on decent terms.

 

Saving for the Summer

Saving for the SummerWith the summer holidays fast approaching, many of us have started to think about our finances over the coming weeks. Keeping kids entertained for six weeks isn’t cheap, and the cost of summer can seem truly daunting. With that in mind, I thought I’d look at some things you can do to top up the funds, ahead of this expensive time of year.

Get a Part Time Job

Childcare can be super expensive, but if you’re not currently working and need some extra cash, there are lots of part time jobs out there which can fit around family time. From courier work to bank nursing at your local hospital, out of hours options are there, providing you’ve got someone to watch the kids in the evening.

Get a Loan

While I wouldn’t usually suggest getting yourself into debt, as long as you’re sensible with making your repayments on time a loan can be a useful buffer at this time of year, and getting a loan can even help to repair bad credit if you ensure you stick to your repayment plan. There are also loans for bad credit if you don’t have the best credit rating.

Cancel Any Services You Don’t Use

This is a great time of year to take a look at your finances and cut back on anything that you really don’t need. I currently pay £10 a month for a gym membership, which I barely use, and although a tenner doesn’t seem like much, it’s enough to make your eyes water when you think about it as £120 a year!

Streamline Your Shop

If you’re like us and end up wasting food because of less-than-savvy shopping, this is a good place to start when it comes to money saving. Sit down and look at HOW you shop (weekly, monthly, day-by-day) and work out where most of the waste is coming from. You could also think about WHERE you shop and whether there’s a cheaper option out there, like Lidl or Aldi. Meal planning is also often a good way to help you to be more frugal. 

Get Your Walking Shoes On

Many families are guilty of jumping in the car for short journeys, which would actually be more than walkable. Unless you’re in a massive hurry, try to make any journey of a mile or less on foot – or even better, get the bikes out and get the whole family cycling. As well as cutting your fuel costs, it will get you all moving and will also reduce your carbon footprint – everyone’s a winner! 

Do you have any fab money saving or money making tips for my readers? Do leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you. 

5 Ways to Boost Your Finances in 2018

No matter what happened in 2017, a new year has begun. For many people, organising theirfinances will be a new year’s resolution. After all, Christmas is an expensive time of year and we can end up spending huge amounts of money over the festive season.

January can be a tough month for finance, but it doesn’t have to be. PPI claims, gathering unwanted gifts and reviewing your current account is all part of the plan to have a healthy bank balance in 2018.

It’s important to have some extra money to pay for financial emergencies and events throughout the year. Thankfully, there are some great ways to boost your finances this year — and these five ideas can all be done right now! So, why put off getting that cash boost?

  • Try a New Way of Saving

The website Apartment Therapy came up with a new way of saving in small amounts. It’s a simple, yet effective way for people to save money from the very first day of the year to the very last. It’s not too late to start either! It’ll be incredibly easy to get on schedule quickly if you start soon.

The idea is simple: For each day of the week, you save some money. You increase the amount saved each day, but when the week restarts, you start all over again. The amounts below are the recommendations about how much to set aside every day:

Sunday £1

Monday £2

Tuesday £3

Wednesday £4

Thursday £5

Friday £6

Saturday £7

When Sunday arrives, you start back at £1. This way of savings means you will have £28 a week, equating to nearly £1500 by the end of the year. Find a big piggy bank or set up a direct debit to a savings account and add £28 a week. You’ll be so grateful by the end of the year and taking it out in small amounts every week can make the saving that much easier.

  • Make a PPI Claim Today

The PPI deadline is getting ever closer. While we’ve all seen and heard the adverts about payment protection insurance claims, the reality is that there are still thousands of people who haven’t claimed PPI. Many consumers were unaware that PPI was sold to them alongside a mortgage, credit card or loan. It’s so important to check old bank statements and find out if you’re due a refund. It could well be thousands of pounds; a substantial amount to boost your 2018 finances. Even if you no longer have the paperwork, you can still find out if PPI was added to your account.  Make your PPI claim today before it’s too late!

  • Sell Unwanted Christmas Gifts

Are there still some Christmas gifts at home which you know you won’t ever get around to using? Those bath salts from your secret Santa might be lovely, but you’re not really a bath person. Selling unwanted Christmas gifts is an excellent way to make some extra money and make sure the gift doesn’t go to waste. Using eBay or even Facebook to sell gifts can be a good boost of income and is very simple.

  • Cash in on Gift Cards

Instead of presents, you may have received some gift cards for Christmas. Some of these can be really useful, but, if you got a gift card for a shop you rarely use, you can cash it in online. Websites such as Zeek will show you various options about how to get cash for your gift cards. Although you’ll never receive the full price, the cash can sometimes be much more worthwhile than the card.

  • Switch Current Accounts

Years ago, the thought of switching current accounts was too much effort. Now, however, thanks to the Current Account switch guarantee, changing current accounts is swift and easy. Most banks are signed up to the switching guarantee, making it a painless experience.

The best part about switching bank accounts is the great rates that banks offer to entice you. Rates do change regularly and there are terms and conditions, so be sure to check on websites such as Money Saving Expert for the best deal.

So, why put off getting some extra cash in 2018? Whether you’re possibly due a huge refund from PPI claims or can sell £50 worth of unwanted Christmas gifts, making use of these finance-boosting tips can make a huge difference. Start making money today!

6 Tips To Deal With Financial Emergency

 5 Tips To Deal With Financial EmergencyHave you ever found yourself in the middle of a financial emergency? You may even be experiencing one at this moment; what can you do? You’re not alone, over 76 million Americans struggle each year according to a survey from the Federal Reserve Bank. There are lots of reasons and causes of financial stress. Whether you’re in the middle of a crisis, or want to help plan for the future, there are options available to get you back on your feet.

Here’s five tips on how to deal with a financial emergency:

1. Start an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is a specific savings account that you only touch in the event of an emergency. Personal financial planners will tell you that an emergency fund is even more important than paying off certain kinds of debt—because having an emergency fund is what prevents you from going into debt, especially debt with burdensome terms like payday loans. Follow the link to find out more: https://www.gofundme.com/c/blog/emergency-fund

2. Create a Budget

How do you get control of your finances? Spending less money sounds easier than it really is. Creating a budget (and sticking to it) can be a great tool for spending less, and saving more. Here are some tips for creating a budget.

  • Track your weekly spending. If you use a debit or credit card, you can see where your money is going each week. Small purchases like a morning coffee or fast food can add up over time.
  • Divide expenses into categories. Some examples can be entertainment, eating out, groceries, bills etc.
  • Set money aside for an emergency fund. Even a small amount saved overtime will add up when you need extra funds for a crisis.
  • Gradually cut down expenses. Instead of cutting out restaurants entirely, limit yourself to once or twice a week.

If you need additional assistance in creating a budget, take a look at this article from US News.

3. Cut Expenses

Cutting expenses can be another option to take during a financial emergency.

Spending less money in just a few areas can provide relief.

Here’s some tips for reducing your monthly expenses:

  • Save money on transportation. One option can be to carpool to work with your friends. By alternating days with your coworkers, you can save on gas, reduce wear and tear on the car, and in some cities, make use of carpool lanes.
  • Reduce entertainment expenses. Do you have cable for watching your favorite shows? Switching to a streaming service like Hulu or Netflix can be a cheaper option. Some of the networks also stream episodes for free on their website as well.
  • Cancel unused memberships. How often do you go to the gym that you pay for each month? If you only go once a week, it may be a cheaper option to find a gym to pay per use.

For other tips on saving money by reducing expenses, Trent Hamm has written up 40 ways to save on monthly expenses.

4. Prioritize Your Expenses

Are your bills overwhelming you?

A financial crisis can make it hard to follow your budget. It’s important to be pay your monthly bills, but sometimes this is impossible.

Here are some tips on how you can prioritize your expenses and get through the crisis:

  • Make a list of all monthly expenses. Listing them out gives you a clear picture of how much money you’re spending each month.
  • Figure out which expenses you have to pay. Once you have your list, you can mark which ones have to be paid first. Groceries and your rent/mortgage should be at the top of your list. Most utility companies will give you extra time to pay bills so that you can prioritize the more urgent bills.
  • Contact your creditors. Late payments can damage your credit, and ignoring the problem will make it worse. Most creditors will let you set up a payment plan or allow an extension.

For additional tools on prioritizing your expenses, visit the United Way’s article.

5. Reduce Your Debt

How many of you want to get rid of your debt? Even if you’re on a tight budget you can follow these tips to be debt free over time.

  • Create a budget. Once you write down everything that you spend money on each month, subtract that amount from your monthly take-home pay amount. Look for areas where you can cut back on to free up more cash.
  • Separate your debts from the budget list. Arrange your debts from smallest to largest. You will want to know what the minimum payments are for each of these debts.
  • Use money that you’ve freed up to start paying off the smallest debt. For all other debts you will want to maintain the minimum payment. Once you pay off the small debt you can use that money on the next loan repeating the process.

For more tips on reducing debt, take a look at the Huffington Post article from Tiffany Allche.

6. Get Financial Help

What if you’ve exhausted all other options for managing a financial emergency?

Ideally you would have access to emergency funds that have been saved up over time for a situation like this, but if you’re currently experiencing a hardship, you need cash urgently.

An option would be to get a loan to help pay for bills, essentials for the household, and other needs during the emergency.

A traditional bank loan may not be an option. You may be asking, what can I do? A 30 day payday loan, like one from ElcLoans, can help you.

Used responsibly this can get you through an emergency until you’re back on your feet.

Conclusion

I hope that you found this information helpful.

Having a financial crisis can be a stressful time, but there are tools and resources available to help get you through the hard times.

Each of these tips are options that you can put into practice immediately.

Do you have any other tips that you would like to share?

If you found this article helpful, be sure to share it with your friends and family.