Financial experts recommend maintaining a savings account with a minimum of $500, which should be designated strictly for emergencies. For many households, this can be an impossible task. It may be difficult enough to make all of your monthly payments, let alone put away money every week for a rainy day. So, how do you cover those emergencies that do affect our lives from time to time? If your family has minimal savings available, these tips might help.
Pick Up Part-Time Work
Probably the best option is to bring in additional income through a second job. Even just $100 a week can make a big difference and allow you to cover a car repair or buy a new water heater. Even if you already work irregular hours, there are plenty of ways to fit a side job into your routine, such as freelancing or getting a work-from-home job.
Borrowing is an Option
If you don’t have the money set aside for emergency expense spending, a sudden family disaster can put you in a crisis. You’ll need money right away and that means you don’t really have the time to save a little each pay period. If this is the case, a payroll advance or other type of short-term personal loan can help get you out of that bind. However, it’s important to be wary of the terms of the loan and to figure the loan repayment schedule into your budget. Don’t let the loan cause more problems down the road.
Ask for a Raise
Don’t overlook your day job as a means of improving your situation. Try asking your supervisor about a raise or promotion. Even if he says a raise isn’t possible, he might offer you overtime or suggest other opportunities that will boost your weekly income.
Turn a Hobby into a Business
Do you enjoy working with your hands? If you crochet, work with wood, write, or create other products, it might be time to try selling them. There are plenty of online sites, such as eBay and Etsy, that will allow you to offer your products for sale and turn a hobby into a side business for extra income. If you take advantage of free and cheap digital marketing opportunities, you may get your products into a wider audience. Even if you don’t sell enough to quit your day job, this may be a good way to pick up a few extra dollars each week.
Reduce Your Spending
You can prepare for your next emergency by finding ways to set aside money each week and you might find this to be easier than you realize. Start by canceling your cable subscription and turning to online streaming services. This can save you a substantial amount. Additionally, consider canceling other subscriptions, such as print newspapers and magazines. Instead of stopping at the corner cafe for your specialty coffee, buy bulk coffee to make at home. Look for other ways to reduce spending and put that money into a savings account.
Sell Your Stuff
If you’re really in a bind, look around the house for items you can sell. Try to find items of value that you can do without until your fortunes change. For instance, recreational equipment can top this list. Expensive jewelry and electronics can bring in a good amount of extra cash as well. When you’re ready to start selling, resist the thought of a yard sale. People go to yard sales to get deep discounts that they can’t get anywhere else. Instead, try selling your items online first. This may help you get a fairer price, so you can afford to recover from your household emergency.
While you may know that emergencies will happen, it can be difficult to prepare for them on a low salary. The best thing to do is to use these tips and other ideas you come up with to start putting money away now. In time, you may be able to improve your situation, but, for now, every little bit will help you in a time of need.