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5 Hacks for Overcoming a Financial Crisis

5 Hacks for Overcoming a Financial Crisis

No one wants to be in a situation where they owe more money to others than they actually have in their bank account. It can be one of the most stressful scenarios in life.

Unfortunately, such scenarios are very common these days. Most people turn to desperate measures to make ends meet.

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If at any point in life, you find yourself in such a financial crisis, here are five hacks that can rescue you without resorting to anything drastic.

Face the crisis

Oftentimes people get into a financial crisis because they procrastinate the inevitable. They know they are spending more than they are bringing in, but don’t know what they can do to stop it. So, they avoid it until it becomes too late.

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The first step for overcoming a personal financial crisis is that of acceptance. You will need to look at exactly what the problem is. Consider everything you bring in and make sure that you have a firm grip on exactly how deep you are in the crisis. Sometimes people get lucky in this situation and realize that their crisis is not as bad as they thought. Others are not so lucky and discover that their personal financial crisis is actually worse than they had originally anticipated.

Sell assets

Obviously nobody wants to sell their possessions. Unfortunately, that is often the easiest way to get money in a personal financial crisis. Make a list of all possessions that you could sell that could bring a decent amount of money. Order that list according to how much you use or really need that item. Start at the top and work your way down. This may be enough to keep you going for a few months while you find a permanent solution to your financial problems.

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Consolidate debt

If you have a lot of debt from various sources, it would probably be a good idea to start by consolidating your debt. There are many companies that will help you do this. The multiple monthly payments of different debts can be consolidated into one single payment that works for your current situation.

Consider a personal loan

A personal loan can be the best solution for certain situations, as a personal loan, they can get you quick funds in your bank account. They usually take less than 3 days to be approved. Personal loan can be very useful for quick cash depending on your situation. Do your research, and if a personal loan seems right for you, go for it.

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A good example of when taking a personal loan might be a good idea is if you want to sponsor your slow business. You evaluate that if your business is fixed, it could get you regular profits and you’ll be able to quickly pay off the personal loan, then you should go for it. You can use the personal loan as intermediary funds while you get back on your feet, and then pay it off once you are there.

Ask for help

Do not be ashamed of the fact that you are having financial troubles. Reach out to friends and family that you are close to, and see if they would be willing to help you out temporarily. You will often be surprised at how willing people are to help if asked in a humble manner.

In conclusion, there are options for those that are struggling financially. The most important thing is to take action immediately, or things will only get worse. There are people and organizations out there willing to help, it just requires the necessary work to find them and choose the best option.

Featured photo credit: Kyle Broad via unsplash.com

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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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