The thing about a financial emergency is that it can come out of nowhere. You did not plan to total your car in an accident or end up needing emergency medical care. Now that something has derailed the household budget, you have to figure out a way to put things back on track. Here are some tips on how to focus your energies and get things done.
Put Your Resources to Good Use
Take stock of what you have in the way of resources to keep the household going. Open the pantry door and inventory all those cans, pasta, and other foods on hand. Do the same with what is in the freezer. Plan your meals for the next few weeks based on what is already in the house. If necessary, you can make a list of things to pick up at the supermarket to go with what you have in the pantry.
Cut Out Discretionary Spending
Until the financial emergency is resolved, forget the little extras. There will be no more eating out or going to the movies, even if those activities are normally covered in the budget. Plan on watching television at home and packing a lunch for work. Remember every penny of discretionary spending you save can go to get you out of the financial hole.
Cash Basis Only
As of now, no more using credit cards to get by. You pay cash or you do without. This forces you to think twice before making any purchase. You’ll be amazed at how little you can get by with if it becomes necessary. Best of all, you are not creating new debt as you seek to resolve your present financial emergency.
Reduce Unnecessary Expenses
You really don’t need cable or satellite television. If you can do so without incurring penalties, cancel those plans and get an antenna. If you live in or near a major metropolitan area, you could pull in anywhere from a dozen to over fifty free channels. Augment them with streaming programming online and you will have more money to take care of that emergency.
When a financial emergency happens, don’t despair. Take a good look at what you can do to meet the problem head on. Once you work out a plan of action and dive into the process, you’ll find that getting past the emergency will not be so hard after all.