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8 Tips To Handle An Emergency That Costs More Than Your Emergency Fund

8 Tips To Handle An Emergency That Costs More Than Your Emergency Fund

So you’ve been super-frugal, you’ve got your emergency funds in place, you are paying down debt, and suddenly your boiler shuts down again. Even worse, it’s several decades old and beyond repair. Unfortunately, you will need to replace it, but a quick Google search proves that a new boiler is a lot more expensive than the £1000 in your emergency fund. So what do you do? Check out our list of eight tips to help you cover your emergency when the cost exceeds your funds available.

1. Remain Calm

Do not let your emotions get the best of you. Stress and anxiety can seriously cloud your judgment. If you panic, you will likely choose the first solution that appears which may very likely be the most expensive. Keep yourself relaxed, level headed, and put your problem-solving skills to work.

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2. Make Sure This Is a Genuine Emergency

Remember that a real emergency is a situation that affects your safety, heating, plumbing, ability to eat or get to work. We call this the four walls concept, which are the basics needed for survival within your home and your access to work. A broken television is not an emergency. A broken washing machine can be solved with a trip to the launderette. It can be an inconvenience, but not necessarily an emergency.

3. Shop Around

When looking for a repair service, contact as many people as possible. Don’t automatically agree to work with the first person you speak to because you are desperate. You may only need to spend one extra hour making some phone calls to find a better price. Make sure you request the ‘bare-minimum’ fix until you can save up for the full repair. Extra tip, it’s wise to do some pre-research before an emergency arises, that way you already have a shortlist of potential vendors to call. Ask your friends or co-workers whom they call on for heating, plumbing, and car repairs.

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4. Consider A Second-Hand Option

If you need to replace an essential item like your boiler or tires, used items will always be the cheaper option. You can find plenty of sellers online offering used car parts, boilers, or anything else you need.

5. Negotiate

Always ask about discounts or a payment plan that you could cash flow for a few months. When haggling a one-time payment, remember that cash is king. If your emergency cost is £1200, show them your £1000 in cash and tell them it’s all you’ve got. They will likely take it.

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6. Find More Cash

Is there anything you can sell to gather up some more money quickly? A quick rummage around your home will likely turn up items you no longer use, that are still in great condition. Consider selling a few things to make the extra money.

7. Consider A Loan You Can Afford

If you have exhausted all other resources and borrowing seems to be your only option, compare your costs to borrow. Do not take out a loan, if you have no intention to pay it back or mathematically cannot pay it back. There are various types of loans that are available and depending on where you get the loan the amount you repay.

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We strongly recommend using financial comparison sites to see where you can get the best rates. Using popular sites such as ‘Money Supermarket’ and ‘Compare The Market’ will give you guidance on the best bank loan lenders. This will help you determine which company to apply with.

8. Absolute Last Resort

If a bank loan is difficult to obtain because of your credit history, the absolute last resort maybe a payday loan or an installment loan. Payday loans are high-interest credit and should ONLY be used to cover an immediate short-term emergency and not to be squandered because of the high repayment.

Again, with any type of loan you should use authorised comparison sites to see where you can get the best rate. Using payday loans comparison sites like The Lenders List or www.money.co.uk will display authorised lenders and will offer comparison tables based on the different APR’s and circumstances to see which loan fit’s your current status.

Featured photo credit: http://uk.businessinsider.com/ via uk.businessinsider.com

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Last Updated on June 26, 2020

25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

“How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

  • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
    • food
    • rent/mortgage
    • cell phone
    • insurance
    • socializing/entertainment
    • transportation
    • hygiene products
    • household bills
  • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
    • travel
    • clothing
    • medication (*depends)
    • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
    • gifts

Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

Save Money on Food

1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

2. Buy the store-brand version

Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

4. Have group dinners

If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

Save Money in Transport

5. Get a bicycle

Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

7. Find the cheapest gas

Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

Save Money in General Shopping

8. Shop online

Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

9. Sell your old stuff

Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

10. Bulk buying stores

For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

12. Generic brand medication

More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

Cut Down on Household Expenses

14. Printing

Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

16. Shop around for insurance

Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

18. Don’t get a TV

Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

20. Have house parties

Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

21. Open festivals, meetups and events

It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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22. Volunteer

If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

23. Housesit

There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

24. DIY beauty

French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

  • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
  • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
  • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
  • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
  • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
  • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
  • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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