We are all living through a bit of an odd time at the moment - people have been getting only 80% of their pay while furloughed, having to work reduced hours, or even been made redundant. For a lot of families there is probably more stress and anxiety over money than usual.
We all need cash for food, kids activities, expected and unexpected bills. Presuming you have pulled every single pound possible from every bank account and even searched down the back of the settee and in random coat pockets for the forgotten taxi change from your last night out, what do you do to tide you over until the next sum of money comes in - here are 5 ways to ensure you don't go overdrawn today!
1. Audit your bank account.
We should all do this periodically anyway, but print a copy of your last month's statement to see exactly what you paid for. What direct debits do you have coming out? Is there anything on there that you don't need, no longer use anyway or can reduce in any way? Do you have magazine subscriptions you can cancel, do you spend an extra tenner on phone data charges every month when you could upgrade your package for £4 instead? Remember, at this point anything you are paying for that is not as absolute essential is a luxury and not needed.
2. Sell, sell, sell
Look around your home - how much 'stuff' is there you genuinely don't need or even want anymore? I bet in a quick 5 minute session you could easily find 10 items - and as one person's trash is another person's treasure, get it sold on for cool hard cash in your pocket. Facebook local selling groups are an easy way to sell for zero commission - just take a photo and get it uploaded. You could also try Ebay but remember to factor in costs for fees, paypal and postage. I regularly go through mine and the kids wardrobes and list unwanted/outgrown clothing and shoes in bundles, for example. At this time of year, outgrown coats sell well.
3. Ask your boss for a payrise
You're thinking - no way - we are in the middle of a pandemic, my boss won't go for that! Well actually, if you've worked your a$$ off all the way through lockdown, covered other people's job when they've been isolating, done extra hours at short notice, gone above and beyond the usual, you can bet your boss has noticed (or if they haven't you are going to be bringing it to their attention!) and you DESERVE some recognition for it. State your case plainly and positively. They know your worth, YOU know your worth. Don't threaten them with leaving, just gently remind them how awesome you are and how lucky they are to have you. Even if they do say no right now, don't sulk or get despondent, ask what you would need to do to get a payrise and then you have a solid target to work towards for next time.
4. Get a side hussle
I live by the mantra that 1 income stream is never enough. Spreading your risk is a common business practise which makes massive sense but we don't seem to use it in other areas of our lives. Why rely on just 1 job to bring your money in, what happens if that job disappears or the money reduces? Having more than 1 income stream means you have SOMETHING TO FALL BACK IF THE WORST HAPPENS. Infact, I aim to have 5 independent income streams. What are you good at, what time do you have available? Could you walk a neighbours dog whilst you are walking your own, could you do ironing in the evenings whilst watching tv, use your business skills in social media to offer training to other people or perhaps you could start your own business selling something online. (if you are interested in learning about one of my incomes as a bodyshop at home consultant then do please contact me email@example.com or join my group https://www.facebook.com/groups/supercoolgifts/ and say hello!)
5. Talk to people
If you've exhausted every other option and you really just can't get the money together to pay a bill this month for whatever reason, then DO NOT JUST SIT THERE waiting for the final reminder to drop through the door or the electric to be cut off. Ring the company and explain the situation. They don't want you as a bad debt any more than you do, they will offer help and a way to pay less this month or even change your terms so you pay a little less every month over a longer term. Communication is always key and your mental health is everyones top priority, so never never never think there is no way to solve any situation you find yourself in.