“But I had to use my credit because…” (you can likely finish that sentence) … . “I needed food, I needed to pay the rent, I needed to fix my car, etc. etc.
I’ve heard a lot of really good reasons. I’ve even used some of them myself. But the reality is, that if you (we) did not have credit, we would make different choices in those circumstances. Maybe you would do without. Maybe you would find a way to barter, or sell something, or cash in an insurance the policy, etc.
The point I am hopefully making is that credit provides a false sense that we have a safety net to “get us through the hard times” when in fact, it contributes to the hard times, by adding a payment to your already stretched budget, and worse, interest on that payment.
The next time you are faced with a situation where you feel you have no other alternative then to dip into your available credit, stop and ask yourself, if I didn’t have this credit available, what would I do in this situation? You might be surprised at what ‘solutions’ present themselves to you.
The following is a list of possible ways to get through a cash crunch. Feel free to add to this list in the comments section 🙂
- sell items you no longer need/want on online sales sites such as kijiji or craigslist
- gather up all that extra “stuff” and have a yard sale. It’s amazing at how much you can make by ‘cleaning out’ your house/basement/garage
- pick up a part-time second job, just long enough to get you through
- look for alternative transportation means until you can get your vehicle fixed
- ask if your local mechanic will let you pay in installments
- visit your local foodbank, that’s what they are there for. There is no shame is asking for help when you need it.
- offer to work off a debt
- take something to your local pawn shop. If it’s valuable to you, you will do what is needed to get it back
- gather up your old jewelry and sell it for cash. You get quite a bit for gold these days
- take a walk along your road and gather up the cans/bottles, turn them in for cash
- ask friends if you can gather up their bottles/cans for them as a ‘favour’ 🙂
- take your gently used clothing to a consignment shop
Of course being proactive makes much more sense. If you practice some of the tips above consistently, you can maybe tuck some of that extra cash away for times when cash is tight. Planning for a situation is always less stressful than dealing with a situation.