Financial hardship can hit anytime, any place. You cannot plan for it, it just happens. Different situations can cause it,but the most common is job loss. While it’shard on anyone, it’s even more trying if you are already on a tight budget. How can you get through this? Here are a few tips that can help you take back control of your finances.
Find a Job
Finding a job is easier said than done, but it is your top priority. Bring your resume to shops and industries in your region, search online, pass the word to friends, family and neighbours so they can keep an eye open for job opportunities for you.
Don’t be picky about your choice of work. A job means money, money pays rent and puts food on the table. Without a job, you can’t get a loan, not even an online loan. Online lenders don’t take note of your bad credit score, but they do care if you have a job.
Create a Budget
Whether you have a job or not, make a budget. You need to know exactly where your money goes.
Before the hard times hit, you were used to a particular lifestyle. Take your budget and analyze which expenses could be eliminated. This means making sacrifices.
Think for a minute; that two-dollar coffee you buy every morning becomes $60 at the end of the month. That could be the cost of cooking a big batch of spaghetti that will feed your family for a week. Remember: your situation is temporary, and so are the sacrifices you will need to make. Meanwhile, learn from the experience and try to develop good financial habits that will help you save.
Nothing is cheap, not even life’s bare necessities. Go through the flyers and don’t be shy to use coupons. Make your weekly menu according to the specials. Go shopping on a full stomach and bring a list. For items other than foodstuffs, go to discount outlets, second-hand stores, yard sales and consignment shops.
Learn New Skills
Are your jeans ripped? Instead of throwing them away, sew a patch on them, cut them to make shorts or do something else out of them. If you don’t know how to sew, ask a friend or family member to show you. Use this occasion to develop new skills that will help you save money. These skills might eventually become a secondary form of income.
Cut Unnecessary Expenses
Luxuries like cable and cell phones are great to have, but when you have to choose between those and putting food on the table or other financial hardship, the choice is easy to make. If anything, your family will benefit from having more family time that doesn’t include a screen.
As for the phone, a home line will do the job. Get a VoIP phone service like Magic Jack. For a fraction of the price of regular phone services, you get caller ID, voicemail and free long-distance calls in Canada and the U.S. All you need is an internet connection.
Get Back on Track
Once things start getting better, revise your budget. Continue to save. If an emergency arises, you will have a way out, either with your savings or by borrowing money that you can easily pay back online.
Never Give Up
Any situation you are living in now is temporary. With hard work and determination, you will get through financial hardship. Better days are ahead of you. Be positive, be confident, look ahead, and remember that tomorrow is a new day.