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It’s never been more important to be financially savvy.
In a world where job uncertainty is on the rise and wages often don’t stretch as far as we’d like them to, financial hardship can quickly become an overwhelming reality for individuals and families alike.
But it’s important to remember that financial stability isn’t out of reach; there are concrete strategies you can begin implementing today to ensure your long-term financial success.
This article will provide you with 12 proven strategies to help you overcome financial hardship and achieve your dreams!
#1. Find Free Alternatives
There are seemingly endless supplies of free things in the world today.
From free movies and concerts in the park to borrowing items from neighbors instead of buying.
With a little thinking, you can find many items that you don’t have to pay for.
#2. Take Drastic Steps
If money is extremely tight, you might have to take drastic steps, like selling your house and moving in with a friend.
Or you could bring a roommate in.
Selling your car and taking public transit is another option.
None of these are ideal, but in some cases, it is what has to be done.
#3. Sell Unused Things
Unless you picked up on the decluttering and minimalism trend going around a few years ago, there are probably things sitting around your house that have gone unused or even unopened.
You can make money on these things rather than continuing to leave them sitting around and taking up space in your house.
If you’re only thinking locally, you can use platforms like Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp to find buyers in your area who might want your stuff.
If you’re looking to expand your reach, you might want to consider platforms like eBay (only if you don’t mind shipping some of your things).
Don’t forget, you can also make money off of unused things by renting them if they’re still in excellent condition.
From things like cars and motorcycles to clothing and instruments (and even places like parking spaces and campground space), there’s a platform out there that can help you make money off of your stuff.
#4. Barter With Neighbors
Developing a connection with your community is quickly becoming a focus in many areas where money isn’t as easy to make.
When you can rely on your neighbors for things like food, fuel, and other essentials, you can build a network of people actively working toward the betterment of your community.
Of course, you have to get started.
See if you can barter with neighbors for various things that you need that you can’t currently spend money on.
Maybe they have something they’re looking to give away or they’ll perform a service for you.
Just make sure you have something to offer in return, whether it’s physical labor or something of value that they need.
#5. Avoid Get Rich Quick Ideas
Get rich quick ideas are never what you think they are.
Most of the time, these schemes are run by people who sell courses and consulting services for high prices while making people think that getting started is easy and cheap.
Once you’ve bought in, you then realize that you need a lot of money, time, and skill that you might not have.
Put simply, if something sounds good to be true, it generally is.
#6. Think Outside The Box
Living extremely frugally during trying times takes immense creativity.
Ask anyone who’s ever done it before or is doing it currently.
Look for ways outside of traditional advice to help you save more and become financially free.
Maybe you’ll sleep in your car and shower at the gym.
Maybe you’ll look for extremely cheap foods and supplement with equally affordable vitamins.
Whatever it is, put your nogging to use to help you work through this bump in the road so you can get back on your feet faster.
#7. Talk With Your Creditors
Crushing debt is often one of the biggest causes of an inability to afford day-to-day expenses.
It’s stressful, and it only snowballs, making it difficult to pay back over time.
It also ruins your credit and prevents you from moving up in the world.
If you can, reach out to your creditors to explain your situation so that you can see what can be done about it.
Some creditors may aim to reduce your overall debt burden by lowering your interest rate so you can get caught up or even offer you more time to pay so you don’t feel as stressed.
Even though it can be easy to avoid debt entirely, tackling it as soon as possible is the best course of action.
#8. Slash Spending
If you’re feeling strapped for cash, the most important first step to take is to slash your spending significantly.
While it’s not always ideal to cut out non-essentials, it’s much better to be able to afford the things you need rather than buy into things that won’t help you maintain your life.
Whether it’s streaming services, subscription programs, or simply extra purchases that aren’t a must, look for ways to cut down on your spending.
You might even be able to leverage coupons or rebates to save on your essential purchases as well.
#9. Find New Income Stream
Besides cutting down on spending, the only thing else you can do to improve your financial situation is to find a new income stream.
Whether that’s a part-time job, a side hustle, or something else, there are ways to bring in more cash.
I’ll include a few ideas below to help you get started!
Networking is critical in today’s world.
After all, almost everything we do relies on socialization.
Networking now can help you connect with people who might be able to help you get your foot in the door of a job, give you ways to build a side income, or even help you find people that you can sell things to.
When in doubt, network it out.
#11. Stay Positive
Not having enough money is a stressful experience.
Unfortunately, that chronic stress can sink you even further, making it difficult to see a way out or find the energy to work toward it.
The most important thing you can do right now is stay positive.
Although positivity alone isn’t enough to get you out of a tough financial spot, it will greatly improve your overall mental well-being and help you make it through this difficult time.
#12. Talk to Your Boss
Bosses are people too, despite a wide range of horror stories that might not always show this being the case.
They might have been through the same thing at one point.
Talk to your boss to see if they might give you a raise or an advance on your paycheck (if your troubles are only temporary and you need a minor boost).
Not all bosses are going to be open to this conversation, but some might surprise you.
If it’s a firm no, consider looking for other ways to make money on the side or even looking for a new job that will pay you more so you aren’t struggling financially.
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.