The following is a sponsored partnership with Alliant Credit Union. All opinions are 100% my own. Alliant Credit Union is a leading national credit union with more than 500,000 members. As an online credit union, Alliant's mission is to provide members with consistently superior financial value while making it easy and enabling people to save, borrow, and pay. Learn more at alliantcreditunion.org.
Almost everyone has experienced financial hardship or uncertainty. Life tends to throw curveballs and it can be difficult to come up with a plan. After all, nobody can predict the future with 100% certainty.
However, not everyone is prepared for a financial emergency, large or small.
Having a plan and being prepared can be extremely helpful in life, especially when it comes to your finances.
A financial emergency or financial uncertainty can include:
You lose your job or your working hours are cut
Health problems and medical bills
A large unexpected house or vehicle expense
And so on. There are many different reasons you can run into a financial emergency.
Today I want to talk about several steps you can take to prepare for and manage any unexpected financial emergencies.
Below are my tips on how to prepare for and deal with unexpected financial emergencies.
1. Be positive.
I say this a lot about recognizing cents, and that's because I really believe in it. I know it sounds ridiculous telling yourself to be "positive" when things may be rough, but I think it makes a huge difference.
No matter how bad life may be, I believe that having a positive outlook on anything can really help a person persevere in difficult times.
Being positive can help you gain the motivation and energy to find another option, keep pushing, move away from your past mistakes, reach for your goals, be happier, and much more.
This is something I always try to keep in mind when things have been extremely difficult in the past.
2. Build a Better Budget.
Budgets are great because they keep you updated on your income and expenses.
With a monthly budget, you know exactly how much you can spend each month in a category, how much you have to work with, which areas of expenditure need to be assessed, among other things.
For members of Alliant Credit Union, budgeting and managing the unexpected is easy with its feature free money management and budget tool.
This platform was created to help members manage their money successfully. Alliant's Money Management and Budgeting Tool shows you the categories you are spending the most in (eat out, groceries, travel, etc.) and help you visualize your cash flow and net worth.
With this free tool, Alliant members can:
See all of your balances and transactions together in one place. Do you have a separate 401 (k) or credit card with another financial institution? You can add them.
Understand your spending patterns with the tool's easy-to-use charts and graphs.
Visit the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store to download the Alliant Credit Union App and access the budgeting tool today.
3. Find ways to cut your spending.
When you have an unexpected financial emergency, finding ways to cut your expenses can be life-saving. To cope with your emergency situation, you will most likely want to find ways to make cuts.
This can include:
Negotiate your insurance rate. I recommend simply calling your insurer and seeing if something can be done to get a cheaper rate. Often times a simple phone call can save you a lot of money!
Lower your cell phone tariff.
Sell a vehicle – if something has changed and you no longer need a vehicle, try this.
Cancel memberships and subscriptions that you have no value of.
Look for ways to save money online or over cable (and potentially eliminate your cable bill if it can save you money).
Make your food at home.
Learn how to better use coupons.
I recommend that you review all of your spending and find out where you can save. There are probably a lot more options than just the options listed above.
4. Find ways to make extra money.
When you find yourself in a financial crisis, finding ways to make extra cash can help you pay your bills and save money.
And there are tons of things you can do to make extra money.
Whether you only have one free hour a day or are willing to work 40 to 50 hours a week in addition to your full-time job, there are plenty of options for you when it comes to the various ways to make extra money.
Become an Uber driver
Looking for a part-time job in a shop, restaurant, etc.
to sell products
Another way to make extra money is to look at your savings account. Personally, I have a bank account with Alliant Credit Union and their high-yield savings account. With rates well above the national average and award-winning online banking, Alliant high yield savings accounts help you save time and money.
5. Look at your emergency fund.
How much money should you have saved for unexpected emergencies?
If you don't already have an emergency fund, I recommend creating one as soon as possible.
Emergency funds are always good to have because they give you peace of mind if something costly should happen in your life.
Instead of adding to your stress from what happened, at least know that you can afford to pay your bills.
The recommended amount for the emergency fund depends on your specific situation. There is no average emergency fund amount that is right for everyone.
If you have no debt, I usually recommend spending at least three to six months. And yes, that's expenses, not income.
However, some people save up to a full year on spending in their emergency fund. A 12 month emergency fund may sound like a lot to you, but it all depends on your situation.
To estimate the amount you will need in your emergency fund, consider factors such as: the stability of your job, your income compared to your expenses, the things you own and the cost of them (like a house, a car), etc. .) and your health.
6. Check your insurance.
Having insurance in different areas is one way of dealing with different risks that you may have in your life. So, looking into different insurance policies can be a great way to prepare for future emergencies.
First of all, you should think about the different insurance policies you will need, read the fine print of your insurance coverage, and check the amounts covered.
Different types of insurance can include:
Homeowner Insurance (You should check that your home insurance also covers earthquakes, severe storms, and floods.)
There are many other options too.
7. Find help when you need it.
If you are in financial straits, please do not be ashamed to find or receive help when you need it. There are many programs that exist for various reasons that can help you get back on your feet.
This could mean contacting a government agency or negotiating with your lenders.
Whatever your case, you most likely have options.
Are you ready for an unexpected financial emergency? How do you prepare for financial emergencies?