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Financial Tips In Desperate Times

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
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Man with Empty Pockets
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / Freedigitalphotos.net

Most of us have had to face an unexpected financial situation at some time in our lives. There are a few ideas for finding money in a hurry, but think carefully before you commit to them. I’m talking here, about the short-term loans we see advertised. While they may seem like an easy and quick solution, they can get you into even more financial trouble in the long run. Remember that these loans are designed to benefit the lender more than the receiver.

Man with Empty Pockets
Image courtesy of anankkml / Freedigitalphotos.net

It’s easy to make an impulsive decision in order to rectify a problem in the short term, but be sure you are able to live with the long term consequences.
Here are some possible avenues that are a much safer bet:

- Consider a visit to a pawnbroker, but make sure any items you pawn are ones you are willing to sacrifice should you find yourself unable to recover them.

- Sell something you can do without, at least for now until you get back on your feet (like that unused exercise equipment or fishing gear). EBay or Gumtree are fantastic resources for this. Alternatively, place a free classified ad and/or place fliers on local noticeboards.

Man with Empty Pockets
Image courtesy of Phasinphoto / Freedigitalphotos.net

- Hold a garage sale. Everyone has smaller items in their home or shed that they don’t need. Gather up any household goods, toys, CD’s, clothing that you don’t need and present them for sale.

- If you are uncomfortable asking to borrow money from friends or family – as most of us are – ask them if they have any jobs or chores they need done (or know anyone that does) for a cheap rate. Ask neighbours if they would like their grass cut or weeds pulled for a reasonable fee.

- Offer to clean up after an event or party in exchange for keeping any bottles and cans. The few cents return on each can soon adds up.

Man with Empty Pockets
Image courtesy of ddpavumba / Freedigitalphotos.net

Some people, despite their best intentions can find themselves in extreme financial difficulty due to a variety of circumstances. If you fear losing your house, having your utilities disconnected or not being able to feed your children, you need to get help quickly. Organisations like the Salvation Army and Anglicare can advise you, and don’t worry; they've seen it all and would never judge you negatively. The important thing is to act before it is too late.

There is lots of free financial advice available to help you develop a budget, consolidate your debts and begin to regain control. It may be a slow process but the payoff is peace of mind and a sense of accomplishment.

If there is absolutely no chance of getting on top of your debt and getting back on your feet, the option may be to declare bankruptcy, but only if you have exhausted all other avenues.

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