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One of the “perks” of adulthood, beyond paying bills and going to work every day, are those little responsibilities that crop up when you least expect them. It never fails – as soon as you get your car paid off, you’re in a fender-bender, or the transmission goes out, with repairs costing as much as the car is worth, nearly. You’ve just paid your mortgage for the month and your heating and air system suddenly stops regulating. No sooner than you’ve paid off that credit card that’s been weighing you down, and you discover that you owe an unpaid medical bill in the hundreds of pounds.
While it might seem like the universe is raining on your parade, the truth is, everyone goes through this. The adult responsibilities never stop coming, and they cost money. The more you climb up that ladder of adulthood – owning a car, buying a house, having children, settling into that great career – the more responsibilities and unexpected expenses pile up on your plate.
So how do you handle it?
One good idea to help you deal with any future unexpected expenses or issues is to have an “emergency fund” squared away. This is a lifesaver for a lot of people. The next time you come into a little extra cash – say, at tax time or if you get a bonus at work – why not deposit it straight into a savings account or put it away in a lockbox? Add to it little by little, when you can afford to, and then forget about it. Don’t touch these funds unless it’s a true emergency. Then, when you do find yourself in need of extra emergency funding, you can tap into the rainy day fund. Some banks and credit unions even offer savings accounts and other types of investment programs specifically for this purpose!
Of course we understand that not everyone can afford to save – if you’re underemployed, currently out of work or live paycheck to paycheck, it may seem next to impossible to put anything away. If you find yourself in dire financial straits and need cash fast, but don’t have any savings or anything to fall back on, payday loans might be an option. Direct lenders work with people who have fair or even bad credit, so even if your score isn’t great you may still be able to secure a loan for your emergency needs. For medical expenses, you may be able to apply for a deferment, or apply for assistance such as care credit, which helps people pay for medical procedures, treatments, and more, which you will pay back in monthly installments.
If you’re not interested in assistance or loans, consider taking a second job temporarily to help you work past your debts. Freelance jobs online, telemarketing, driving for Uber or a food delivery service, and even data entry/transcription jobs are all viable ways to make extra money on the side with flexible hours that fit into your current schedule. Many people take up temporary jobs like these to help them get past financial setbacks.
If you have an unexpected expensive that has thrown you for a loop: don’t sweat it. We’ve all been there. And don’t panic. The truth is, you can take care of your financial woes easier than you think, if you carefully consider your options.