It wouldn’t be life if we didn’t have to deal with unexpected events, curveballs and last-minute panics. While some people deal well with spontaneity, others can find it stressful and overwhelming as not only can it impact your diary, it can also impact your bank account!
If you struggle with disposable income, any unexpected bills and plans that require cash that you hadn’t planned into your budget can fill you with dread. Trying to work out how you’re going to fund a last minute event or emergency isn’t fun, and it certainly isn’t a recipe for enjoying yourself – if that’s the aim. There are, however, ways you can cover yourself and make last-minute plans work for you, even when you’re tight on funds….
Keep a rainy-day fund
When last-minute plans come up, whether it be a spontaneous weekend abroad, a friend’s wedding or a family emergency, it’s always good to have a rainy-day fund to cover yourself financially. This will ease the stress and the pressure of having to scrape around for any spare cash when things are already tight. It will help you to relax and focus on what you’re doing – whether that’s enjoying yourself or being there for a relative in need – without the worry of money in the back of your mind. Set up a standing order to deposit a sum of money into your savings account each month, this will make sure you do actually save and don’t get tempted to skip a month!
Develop a side hustle
If you earn enough to pay your bills and rent but struggle to find spare money to enjoy yourself or cover an emergency with, why not consider other ways you can generate income on top of your day job? There are tonnes of online jobs such as freelance writing and teaching English which offer flexible hours and good rates of pay. Consider your existing skill set, understand what you’re good at, and put together a perfect pitch. This may require sacrificing your social life from time-to-time and putting the extra hours in, but, you never know what doors it may open!
Apply for a loan
If the last minute event you need to pay for is an emergency or is unavoidable and important, you could consider applying for a loan if you’ve exhausted all your other options to get your hands on the money you need. Borrowing money isn’t an option that should be used regularly, and it should be reserved for emergencies only. Speak to friends and family first to see if they could help, if not, it’s a viable option.
It’s crucial that if you do decide to apply for a loan, you’re confident you can pay the loan back comfortably, alongside your other necessary expenses. Put in some research time to make sure you’re making the best choice for you; the guys at Sunny have a great section on their site with information about the types of loans out there and the different lenders available.
Have a clear-out
If you’ve received an invite to an upcoming event or need to go somewhere that could severely damage your bank account if you go, then consider selling some of your unwanted goods online to make some quick cash. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, after all. You can make money by selling CDs, DVDs, clothes and games. Spend a Sunday having a clear-out and advertise your ex-belongings online via websites such as eBay and Gumtree. Facebook is also becoming a popular place to sell with the introduction of Marketplace.
By taking a few sensible steps to organise your finances, and generate extra income, you can be fully prepared for any last-minute plans that arise unexpectedly. No longer will you have to feel as though you’re letting someone down in their time of need, come up with an excuse to bail out, or ruin your own fun with the overwhelming feeling of worry. Go out there and live spontaneously!