Ah, money. The great leveller. No matter how much of it you have, it’s never enough. No matter how well paid your job may be or how modest your lifestyle, in an uncertain economic climate, it can seem as though financial hardship is never more than a missed paycheck away. Whether you work for yourself, own your own business or are in a salaried job, whether you are single or married, whether you live alone or cohabit the chances are at some point you will find yourself having some sort of money troubles. You might find yourself struck with an unexpected bill, you might experience car trouble, you might have to bail out a friend, family member or loved one. Your employer could make you redundant or you might get lost in the shuffle of a corporate restructuring.
The fact is that none of us can predict what the future will hold for us or our finances. And in order to insulate yourself from long term risk, it’s important to be prepared. Here are some ways to ensure that when crisis strikes, you’ll never be without cash…
Know what not to do
Perhaps the most effective thing you can do to avoid financial crisis is to know which actions will make the situation work. Predatory payday lenders may seem like the perfect solution to your financial problems in a time of crisis but their exorbitant interest rates can cause you to get stuck in a quagmire of debt from which you may find that there is no recovery. While some countries and territories have put legislation in place to prevent pay day loan companies from using predatory or unethical lending practices they can still cause debts that can create more problems than they solve.
Get serious about saving
Most of us have at least some sort of savings account. But do we use them?… probably not as much as we should. Your parents may well have taught you that 10% of every paycheck you receive should go into your savings. But in an era where the cost of living seems to rise dramatically each year and yet our wages remain the same, this isn’t always feasible.
However, even if times are lean when it comes to your finances, that’s no reason not to at least put something away every month. Can’t do 10%? No problem, but 5% in and increase it to 15% when your finances are looking more stable.
And if you’ve been using the same high street savings account since you were a kid, perhaps you need to find an account that works harder for you. Here are some of the best interest rates from all over the world.
But remember, even a good savings account can only work for you if you actually use it. So be sure to put something aside every month.
Cling to your collectibles!
None of us collects collectibles because we intend to sell them. They bring us pleasure and joy even if all they do is sit on a shelf. However, cling to them and keep them in the best possible condition and you may find that they prove a reliable safety net if you fall upon hard times. You never know what might be worth big money in the future. Think of all those kids who bought Star Wars figures in the early ‘80s and would now be sitting on goldmines if they took better care of their toys. Even something as quotidian as Pop Vinyls can be worth a small fortune. Check out this list of the most valuable Funko Pops!
Always know the value of your home
Okay, so selling your home is a very extreme option, but it always pays to know the value of your home, so make sure you stay in touch with a reliable real estate agent like The Hupman Group. Remember that selling your property isn’t the only way in which you can make money from it. In fact, when you own your own property, you always have a high-value asset. You can release some of the equity on your property by remortgaging, or simply let out your spare room on Air BnB or your local equivalent. If you have a home, you always have options.
Every day I’m side hustling
Remember that your income needn’t necessarily be dictated by your day job. In fact, there are many ways in which you can make money in your free time with a side hustle. No matter what your circumstances, education or areas of expertise, there’s an excellent chance you can find a side hustle that suits you.
Of course, your attention and energy will be limited after a long, hard day’s work which is why it’s so important that your side hustle stem from something that you enjoy and / or are passionate about. From writing blog posts about your favourite music to walking the neighbourhood dogs in the evening, there’s no shortage of ways in which you can get paid for doing things you enjoy. And who knows? Your side hustle may find success and snowball into an opportunity for full-time entrepreneurship helping you to break through the glass ceiling that your employer has placed on your wages.
If you must borrow, borrow smart!
This post isn’t hear to say that you should neither a lender nor a borrower be… but if you have no means of recourse but to borrow, don’t let panic push you into poor borrowing decisions. Even if you don’t have the best credit, you can still borrow smart by choosing low interest loans and credit cards. Use a credit checker like Experian to determine your credit score and find the best deals.
Remember that little changes can make a huge difference!
Finally, remember that little things can make a big difference when it comes to saving money and keeping financial crisis at bay. Bringing a thermos of your own coffee rather than stopping into Starbucks to get through a rough Monday morning. Packing your own lunch instead of being tempted by local restaurants and fast-food outlets. Walking or cycling instead of treating yourself to a taxi. The little bit you are able to save here and there adds up to a lot by the end of the month!