This is a guest post from Jessica. Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this post.
Times of financial crisis hit us with the unpredictability of the weather, you don’t see the coming and they are one of the most stressful times anyone can face in their lives. When you are already juggling child care, work and your family’s finances, that unexpected bill can make you feel helpless and cloud your judgement when thinking about what step to take next. Don’t panic, at some point in everyone’s lives they will experience a similar turmoil, so you are not alone in this time of crisis.
There are many small steps you can take to help you in this situation and some that will make sure that will prepare you for similar eventualities in the future.
Use your computer to seek advice and help
Many people, in a panic, will search the internet looking for a quick and easy fix for their emergency and there are options for emergency cash advances available. However, as with any form of loan, you do need to consider all the options first; the reason for this is that cash advances can be very expensive when not used for the right reasons, so be sure from the beginning that this is right for you. Firstly you must make sure that you really are in an emergency situation. I know that sounds unnecessary, but if there are other options for paying that bill or to get your car fixed, then a cash advance is not the right form of finance for you. It is also important to find out the total repayable amount before you take out the loan, as they are only meant to cover a couple of weeks, the interest rates are very high and so you must be aware of this. Have a look at a cash advance from DollarsDirect.com or other companies to see what your options are.
Plan emergencies into your monthly budget
We have all heard the phrase ‘saving for a rainy day’ yet so many of us don’t consider doing this. In fact, it’s the opposite. This happens all over the world. According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, 1 in every 20 Canadians fear they will never pay off their bills. In this economy it is not easy, especially when the cost of living and child care is set to soar; but there are some ways that we can put aside a small amount each month to cover us when we really need it. Many of us live hand to mouth, from pay check to pay check and thus so believe that saving is impossible, but if you were really to look at your spending under a microscope then I’m sure you will find some small areas where you can cut back. For example, if like many of us, you give your children money for school lunches , consider swapping a packed lunch instead. The same goes for buying lunch at work – those few dollars a day will soon add up over the course of a month. Make a list of all of the small amounts you can cut out and you may be pleasantly surprised at the end of the month.
Change your shopping habits
If, like many of us, you do a large monthly or weekly food shop for the family, then you know just how expensive it is having hungry mouths to feed. A great place to save money is exactly here, at your local supermarket. There are three points to look at here: What time of the day do you shop? Do you have a points rewards card? What brands are you buying? Once you have covered all these then you can get started saving some dollars and still eat just as well!
What time of day you go shopping actually has a large impact on how much you spend. First thing in the morning and an hour before the store closes, the products not sold will be discounted – sometimes quite dramatically. This is the perfect time to shop for anything that can be frozen as the reduced produce and meat will be on their sell by date. If you do switch to shopping at these times then by also using a store rewards card, you can get money off your next trip! If you buy the branded products, switch to the store’s own brand – 9 out of 10 times it will contain exactly the same ingredients at a fraction of the price.