Pinching pennies is never more important than when you’ve been laid off, and the more you try to list your expenses, the more you realize how many bills you really have. It’s not always possible to do away with certain expenditures, which is why a strict budget is so crucial during trying times. But even then, sometimes the financial difficulties can be too much. Thankfully there are a number of options for when the bills keep piling up.
Start with a budget
Before you begin taking out multiple lines of credit or tapping into your home equity, start with the basics and create a budget that will work for your family and financial goals. At first it may seem impossible to cut anything as you’ve grown so accustomed to your lifestyle. But the more you study your expenses, the more you’ll find you can go without certain nonessentials. Cutting out entertainment, restaurants, and even your daily Starbucks can help balance the budget more than you might think. Even if budgeting can’t make up for all your expense shortfalls, it can ease the pressure and make more drastic options less painful.
Finding the money
When the wallet is all tapped out and the bills keep coming, you need to find other ways to pay. While there is a laundry list of ways to get quick cash, nearly all of them will end up costing you significantly more in the longrun, so be careful before accepting questionable terms. Those strapped for cash can use financial products like cash advances, debt consolidation loans, car title loans, and borrowing against a home to help make ends meet. All of these options represent high risk because of the interest you will eventually pay back, but if you’re truly jammed up, they may offer a solution.
Creating a payment plan
Even if you’ve used up your liquid assets and are thinking about dipping into your more valuable holdings like retirement savings, you still have options left. Since the recession, companies have become more understanding of late payments and are more willing to restructure payment plans for some customers. Just explain your situation and be honest about your circumstances, and you may be surprised to find how readily companies will work with you to recoup what they’re owed, especially if you were an exemplary customer prior to being laid off. Remember that companies want their money however they can get it, so it’s worth asking if they’ll work with you to come up with a plan that is suitable for both parties.
Below you will find additional information and resources on managing expenses:
How one family cut monthly expenses by $1,000
Handling debt after being laid off