Even before the pandemic, real financial security was rarer than many people might expect. These days, an estimated 54 percent or more of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck. That means that better than half of the adults in the US will spend their entire next paycheck as soon as it arrives.
That also means that most of those people don’t have emergency funds if some kind of disaster strikes. If you’re living that paycheck to paycheck lifestyle, keep reading. We’ll cover some of the key ways you can get emergency cash if you find yourself in a financial bind.
Sometimes, you can see a financial emergency coming down the road. For example, maybe you know you’ve got a big payment or major car repair coming in the next few months. In cases like that, you start socking away emergency money with a side hustle.
For some, that may mean just taking on a part-time job for a few months. You can also look at gig economy apps that let you take on extra work when you have the time.
For longer-term side hustle options, you do some freelancing or tutor if you have the right skills or education.
Offload Your Clutter
Adults accumulate stuff. It’s just the nature of adulthood. For example, maybe you upgraded to a better laptop a year ago, or maybe someone give you a Chromebook you never use. You often sell off this kind of clutter for a quick infusion of cash.
You can often sell off unused items to pawn shops or list them on an online marketplace. Pro tip: If you sell through an online marketplace, always meet somewhere public.
Check Your Apps and Credit Cards
Some apps and credit cards offer cashback features that you may have forgotten about. Check your credit cards and see if you have a cashback balance you can redeem.
You can also get free money on Cashapp by selling off cryptocurrency, for example.
Friends and Family
There is always the tried and true method of asking friends and family for help. Unless they’re in dire straights as well, you can often someone who is willing to help you out in a pinch.
Avoiding Future Problems
While getting emergency money through the above methods may work, it’s no substitute for smart budgeting and financial management. Look for ways you can trim expenses and add income. A regular side hustle can provide the funds for an emergency fund.
Emergency Cash and You
With so many people living paycheck to paycheck, it’s inevitable that some of them will run into a financial emergency. If it happens to you, there are options.
You can take on a side hustle if you see the problem coming. For very immediate financial needs, you can sell off your valuable clutter, borrow from family, or even take on gig work. Planning and budgeting, however, can make paying bills much less stressful.
Looking for more personal finance tips? Check out the posts over in our Life Style section.