Tales of the unexpected
I had to buy a new computer earlier this year when my hard drive died, that was unexpected. I’ve had a few more unexpected expenses this year and then the usual heavy bills come in at the end of the year. I’ve coped, but many people don’t and that’s when that high interest pay-day loan can be tempting. Over a million people in the UK resort to pay-day loans every month.
It is the most vulnerable and the low paid who get into difficulties when an unexpected expense comes along. I am reminded of the woman in Africa who faced starvation when something unexpected happened. Locusts had eaten her crops and faced with starvation, she ate the locusts. There is often a solution to the problem if you look at it from a different angle and most of all if you look at it and don’t just hope it’ll go away.
We often accuse the government of doing too little too late and people do that when they are faced with unexpected and seemingly insurmountable problems. It’s better to face facts as soon as possible. It might mean drastic action, like cutting down on your vices, especially if you smoke, drink or gamble. Just not buying your lottery ticket might not seem a lot and it takes away the one hope you have of escaping your situation, but every little helps. You have to give it up, at least for a while.
Every penny you can save by shopping around and cutting down helps towards solving the problem. It might be a little embarrassing to refuse invitations to functions you can’t afford to go to; but less embarrassing than having bailiffs take away your possessions. Making a few pounds will help too and don’t be too proud to do menial work. It might be mowing someone’s lawn who is struggling because of poor health, that makes you the odd fiver. It might not seem much, but it might keep you out of debt.
You can also consider doing a car boot sale and selling off your junk to raise a few pounds. It’s not unusual to make 100 pounds on a weekend car boot sale. While you do that, think about the junk, today’s junk tends to be yesterday’s hasty and unwise purchase. We all buy things and then wish we hadn’t when we get them home.
You might find that transferring your credit card debt to another card will give you a chance to cut spending and get your life and debts under control. The balance transfer fee is usually around 2.9%, but there are often refunds for part of that. Shop around for the best deal. There is often an interest-free period of around 3 months on purchases too. You can use that interest-free period to put all, if not most of your purchases on the card, enabling you to save a little money. That money saved can pay off debts with the highest interest payments on them. If you have a pay-day loan, you pay that off first.
The most important thing is to make a list of money going out each month and money coming in and try to make the latter more than the former; even if it’s only by a small amount. There are more blogs on the home page of a zillion ideas.