14 October 2015

12 Strategies for Coping with a Financial Emergency

Oh no! You're about to lose your job, or the car has died an untimely and very expensive death. You've only just started your emergency savings and you don't have six months' pay stashed away yet. So what are you going to do?

You may be tempted to panic, but don't!

You need to stop shopping, cut your expenses to the bone and stash that cash. Knowing that you have cash available to pay the bills will give you peace of mind and confidence to survive whatever the setback may be.

Here are some cash-saving strategies:

*Stop shopping immediately. Live on the food in your pantry and freezer, wear the clothes and shoes you have. Cut and/or colour your own hair.

*Make minimum payments on credit card bills. This is only a temporary strategy! As soon as you find a job or get the car fixed, go back to your debt reduction plan.

*Stop eating out (the potential savings here are huge). This includes buying lunches for work.

*Cook from scratch. It's not as hard or time consuming as you might think. Stick to basic meals to cut costs and save time.

*Don't be tempted to buy expensive, convenience foods.

*To really save at the supermarket, shop the perimeter of the store and avoid the centre aisles.

*Make $2 meals. It's possible to get your meal cost down to $2 per meal and still eat well. Cooking from scratch and buying what is on sale can slash your grocery budget. Options include grilled-cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, spaghetti with meat sauce, noodles with fresh vegetables and pieces of chicken, baked, stuffed potatoes, omelettes, meatloaf, casseroles and stews and homemade salads such as coleslaw, potato and noodle salads. There is a section in the Recipe File for $2 Dinners.

*Have a garage sale. Clean your house and garage and make some money too. If your clothes are in good shape and reasonably in style, consider consignment shops. If you have more valuable items, advertise online or other publications where you don't pay unless you sell.

*Cancel your pay TV, it's a luxury you can't afford.

*Cancel your Internet access. Use computers at your public library for free.

*Stop renting videos. Check them out of the library, instead.

*Leave the car at home whenever possible. Walk, ride a bike, car pool or use public transport.

Even if you don't have a financial emergency, take the opportunity to start your emergency savings fund. If you already have one, you can use these ideas to fast track it, or increase it. Having your own 'financial insurance' will take away a lot of stress and a cash emergency won't seem such a disaster.

And last of all, stay positive. Meet the challenge head on and use it to improve your financial skills.

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  1. Very inspiring, unfortunately these days internet access is becoming more and more "must" as places like centrelink and other government organisations want you online or else you are on the phone for up to 45 minutes and one can hardly go to the library daily to check if you have an online message or email that is important. I use the classic seniors bundle and as I have no kids it is enough for me.

    1. I am retired now and on part Centrelink payments.
      You do not NEED computer access to do anything with Centrelink. Yes, some things are easier to do via the home computer, but it can all be done in the office, either in person or on their computers..
      I know because I had to do it.
      Home internet connection is a luxury item. You do not need it to live.
      Pat from the 11 July 2016 post

  2. I did this in 2014 when we found out that the house we were renting was to be sold. If it went to an investor that would have been fine as we wouldn't need to move. The house sold to a young couple for their first home, so move we did.
    Minimum payments on the credit card, no takeaway, no "essential extras" and I had the bond money for the new place, removal truck costs and other set up costs and money to feed the hoard of friends and family that helped us on the day.
    The removalist was paid by credit card then the saved money went straight on it as did the bond money from the first house as soon as it was released by the owner. Saving at present to have the money in the emergency fund first, then the removal money after that for future "gotta move now" times. Pat


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