Dealing with the stress of being financially strapped is something none of us want to face, especially when we’re already living on less as it is. If you’re starting to feel the weight of your finances heavy on your shoulders, it’s time to start thinking about potential solutions that can help you cut down on costs and save more of your money quickly and easily. So if you’re ready to relieve some of the financial stress you’ve been under, here are five helpful tips you can use now.
1. Use Your Emergency Fund
Building up an emergency fund can help you in the event that something unexpected happens. For example, if you lose your job, you’ll be able to cover your living expenses until you get another job. Older adults should save at least 12 months’ worth of living expenses, since statistics show that they tend to be out of work longer than younger workers.
While you’re working, try to dedicate a percentage of your paycheck to an emergency fund so that if you lose your main source of income, you can still afford to live comfortably until you start earning money again. If you’ve already set one up for emergency situations like the one you’re going through now, use the money in your emergency fund to get you through your financial crisis. But remember to replace it once you’re back on your feet so you can use it again for the next time something unexpected comes up.
2. Find a Way to Make Extra Money
If you really want to relieve some of your financial stress, there’s no better way than to bring in some extra money. Take the financial strain off of your wallet and start looking for ways to earn additional income. There are so many ways you can earn extra cash, whether it’s online or offline, including the following:
- Selling art on Etsy
- Writing greeting cards
- Working a part-time job
- Delivering food and groceries (Instacart, Door Dash, UberEats, Grub Hub, Post Mates, etc.)
Figure out what kind of work you wouldn’t mind doing and start taking steps to get your new income stream set up. Find a way to get the job through different promotional techniques including housesitting & babysitting flyers, posts on social media, and ads in local newspapers among others
3. Invest in Health Insurance
Investing in health insurance can help save you money on medical, dental, vision, and other costs, which is why you should enroll as soon as you can if you’re eligible. If you’re age 65 or older, check your Medicare eligibility online to determine whether you qualify for it. If you’re already receiving Social Security disability insurance, you should automatically qualify for it. Eligibility is also based on whether you’re still working or fully retired and whether you paid into Medicare taxes when you were working. Find out if you qualify for Medicare and when you can enroll based on the month you’re turning 65.
4. Cut Unnecessary Things Out of Your Budget
Go through your budget and your credit card and bank statements and look at what you’re spending money on each month. If you haven’t already, write down a list of your expenses (monthly, daily, and weekly) and figure out what things you can cut out of your budget. For example, if you’re spending money on coffee every morning, that’s something you can cut out to save more money. Other things you might cut out include:
- Name brand products
- Spending money on fast food
- Streaming services you don’t use
- Dry cleaning
- Beauty products
- Expensive cleaning products
You can also save money by changing your cell phone plan with tools like this Calculator, switching banks to avoid overdraft fees, shopping at thrift stores, and re-evaluating your life, health, and travel insurance.
5. Borrow Against Your Life Insurance Policy
Do you currently have a whole life insurance policy? If so, you might be able to borrow against the policy to cover some of your looming expenses. These types of loans are called policy loans and they’re borrowed against the death benefit, which means the insurance company uses the policy as collateral for the loan. Policy loans are different than bank loans or credit cards in that they don’t affect your credit score, which is a plus. That’s because you’re pretty much borrowing from yourself. Contact your life insurance company and ask about whether you can borrow against your policy and how much you borrow.
Finding a Solution to Your Financial Problems
For every problem, there’s a solution and that includes financial problems. No matter what you’re going through, you can find a way to get back on track financially. From cutting unnecessary expenses from your budget and using your emergency fund to investing in health insurance and finding ways to make extra money, there’s a solution out there for you.