It sucks to be swimming in an ice-cold pool of debt, but there are ways to get out (or at least swim into warmer water). The important thing is to act fast before you drown. Here are some smart tips to keep your head above water (and now we’ll stop with the water metaphors, promise).
12 Things You Should Do TODAY if You're Struggling to Make Ends Meet
Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself
It’s tempting to feel down or even blame others (or the entire world), but this doesn’t solve the problem. Focus on solutions and you’ll feel more empowered and less depressed.
Save Money on Housing
For most people, housing is the biggest regular expense they have. Shaving it down may nit be easy or ideal (hi roomie) but it can save you a sizable amount and, depending on how long and how low you go, might get rid of your debt altogether.
Get Rid of a Car You Can’t Afford
Maybe you got suckered into a bigger car payment than you can afford, but if you can get out of it (and preferably trade it in for a cheaper car), consider it. There’s also public transportation if it works for you.
Check Out Your Insurance
Some insurance carriers like to bundle coverage, which might save you money — or could get you more insurance than you need. To save money, consider shopping around and asking your carrier for more competitive rates. too.
Look at What You’re Eating
Eating out, even fast food, is a huge expense you can easily avoid. Plan ahead, meal prep, and know what you’ll eat for the week. You’ll save money and you’re less likely to hsve food waste, too.
Get Rid of Streamers
Yes, you need to see what happens on “Ted Lasso,” but — maybe you don’t need to see it right away? It’s not going anywhere, and though some shows get pulled from a streamer, it’s usually not long before they show up again or land somewhere else. Plus, there are always DVDs at the library.
Get a Side Hustle
A side hustle isn’t just a great way to make money. It can even lead to another job, a new skill to add to your resume, or a way to make contacts in another industry. But be sure you’re finding a legit revenue stream. The internet is awash in MLMs and scams that will bleed you even more dry than you already are.
Ask for a Raise
There’s a good chance you’re not making what you’re worth (who is?) and if you haven’t asked for more money, the rate of inflation alone is good reason to ask for more.
Even though we’ve all heard about corporate layoffs, that doesn’t mean other employers aren’t looking for new hires.
Get Out of Your Cell Phone Contract
If you can, it’s often worth shopping around for a better deal — even with your current carrier. No one wants to lose a customer, but don’t be afraid of finding another deal and taking your business elsewhere.
Get a Future-Looking Budget
It’s tempting to earmark any extra future funds on a shopping spree, but the reality is you’re better off saving some cash (at least six months of living expenses) when the opportunity presents itself. Prepare to deal with the situation you’re in, but also know the future is coming up fast and it’s best to be prepared.
Don't Give Up
It’s easy to feel defeated, but you aren’t likely to solve your problem by giving up. Take a deep breath, and forge ahead. You’ve got this.