No matter how secure your job may be or how well-off your family consider themselves, there may well come a time in your life when you hit a wall of financial difficulties. When times are tough, sacrifices need to be made, and nobody wants that. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can avoid financial difficulties, and they’re pretty much all painless. We’ve listed some of the best ways to stay out of trouble in money terms below.
Have a savings account
It might sound obvious, but saving money can really get you out of a tight spot, especially if you’ve been paying into it for some time. Squirreling away a little money each month will really pay dividends in the long term; even if you only pay 10% of your salary into a savings account every month, you’ll have an extra month’s wages within 10 months which is available should a rainy day come along. If everyone in your family manages to keep a savings account (even the kids can learn!) then you’ll be covered against a heck of a lot when it comes to financial trouble.
Take out a loan
If you think you’re going to struggle to make the rent next month, or you can’t quite stretch to something you’ve been looking forward to for some time, then it might be time to take out a loan. There are various kinds of loan available, so there’s bound to be one that’s suitable for you. Unsecured loans, secured loans and peer-to-peer lending are all worth considering; unsecured loans are great for struggling families, while secured loans are a solid option for homeowners. You may think payday loans aren’t a good way to get money quick, but there are plenty of ways to trust a payday loan lender and come out intact. Know where you’re going and you can’t go wrong.
Get some extra cash through trading
This one might be more of a preventative measure than a way to deal with financial straits, but becoming a foreign exchange trader is an excellent way to make some extra cash if you’re willing to put in the learning work. Essentially, foreign exchange trading (or Forex trading) revolves around international currency and the exchange rate between two currencies. It’s entirely possible to make money by buying and selling currency on the Forex market; supply and demand changes the rate of this currency regularly, so profit is there to be made. Make sure you go with a great foreign exchange trading service, here is a list of providers that offer the service to help you get started if this is a path you’re interested in.
Be savvy with money
In order to help yourself avoid the kinds of situations that need you to take out loans (although they don’t bite), you need to be savvy with your spending. Ask yourself if you really need that meal out at that new restaurant, or whether you can live without a new car until you’re in a more relaxed position to buy one. Set yourself realistic targets for each month in terms of budgeting, and try as hard as you possibly can to stick to them. Ask yourself if you need to drive to work, or if you could save petrol money by walking or taking public transport (provided it’s cheaper than your car, of course). Cycling is also an excellent investment, because what you spend on the bike you’ll quickly make back in unspent fuel.
Know your expenditures – and your limits
It’s easy to fall into financial difficulties if you don’t have a handle on how much you’re spending each month. In order to stay safe, you need to know exactly where your money is going and why. Are there monthly payments to somewhere you don’t remember signing up for? Get on the phone and get them gone if you no longer want to keep them up. Can you make some changes when it comes to food and drink that you’re buying extraneously? Do you really need a landline? These aren’t sacrifices – they’re bona fide life changes, and they’re about cutting out the fat in your life until only what you need remains.
Lastly, if you’re really struggling, it’s a good idea to take a look at some of the things you’re paying for and see if you can swap them for something cheaper. Your phone contract is a good place to start, assuming you have one. Are you desperate for 10GB of data, or would 3 suffice based on your usage? You might be surprised – many phone companies will try to tell you that data is constantly used by your phone, or that you’ll use that much on a monthly basis, but in reality you’re not downloading or streaming anything outside of your home and WiFi doesn’t eat into your data plan. There are plenty of ways you can keep your lifestyle and change what you’re spending without losing any of the luxuries to which you’re accustomed.