How to Manage Your Finances When Times Are Tough

Almost everyone experiences a hard time with their finances from time to time. In fact, 78% of Americans say they live paycheck to paycheck. Even those who make six figures admit to struggling to make ends meet. Worrying about getting the bills paid is no way to spend your time. Instead of stressing about things you can’t control and juggling due dates with your bills, there might be a few other things you can try.

Prepare a budget

It may sound simple, but budgeting is the best way to keep track of your finances and live within your means. The important thing is to stick with it, though. It’s also important to include your whole family in the process. First, you will need to calculate your expenses and income down to the penny. Then, you’ll need to decide which expenses are necessities and which can be cut. Getting your family’s input will help you determine spending priorities.

Start a side business

One of the best ways to get a handle on your finances is to find ways to bring in extra cash. It’s a concept most of the world has caught on to. In fact, nearly 40% of all Americans are working side jobs to make ends meet. Side jobs can be jobs you create, such as mowing lawns, babysitting, or tutoring. But they can also be jobs at local businesses that hire part-time or seasonal labor. Of course, if you’re thinking of expanding your income more permanently, you might want to consider building a sustainable business, such as an online business or other entrepreneurial endeavor.

Sell your unused items

Almost everyone has unused items taking up space in their homes. And there are lots of places where you can earn cash for them. When the weather permits, you can have a yard sale. Or you might choose to list the items on Craigslist or a Facebook selling site. But the most profitable way to unload used goods is usually by selling them online on eBay or Amazon. It’s not difficult to get set up on these platforms and you can list your items in a matter of minutes. Just review other similar items and what they sold for to figure out your listing prices and take good quality photos. Not every item will sell on these platforms, but you can get a good idea of whether or not yours will by searching for others.

Take out a loan

In a tight spot, a loan may be your best option. You can take out a second mortgage on the house or request a personal line of credit for larger needs. But in a pinch, you might even consider online payday loans. You can take out these types of loans to get you from one payday to the next, or to get you out of a bind for a short period of time. If you borrow responsibly, you should be able to use it to pay a debt you are behind on and pay the loan back quickly.

Change careers

It may seem like a bad time for a life change. But if you’re constantly struggling with your finances, it may be time to consider a new career. And you don’t have to go back to school for a four-year degree to make it happen. You might be surprised to know that many great-paying careers require very little education or training. One example is court reporting. Court reporting school can be done entirely online and at your own pace. And the salary for this career ranges from around $40,000 to $73,893, largely depending on where you work. For example, court reporters in Fort Lauderdale tend to make in the mid-to high $50,000 range.

Managing your finances can be a struggle. But if you can plan ahead before things get out of hand, you could save yourself months, or even years of difficulty and stress.

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