Bank, Family, or Friends: Who Is Your Best Helping Hand When You’re Short On Cash

When you find yourself in a crunch for cash, it can be confusing to know the next step to take. Whether you’re trying to pay rent, your auto loan, or credit card debt, who is the best person to ask for a helping hand when you’re short on cash? From friends and family to the bank, what are your options?

If you’re struggling with your finances, you’re not alone. In Australia, a reported 27% of people occasionally miss repayment dates, while 15% often miss them. With that in mind, what can you do if you find yourself short on cash? It’s true that a constant cash flow problem can be a sign you need to adjust your budget, sometimes things happen. In the meantime, let’s talk about your options.

Option 1: Use Your Own Emergency Fund

First, the best option is almost always to use your own emergency fund when you’re short on cash. An emergency fund, in fact, is there to serve this exact purpose. Having extra funds set aside for moments when you’re short on cash prevents you from having to dip into lines of credit or ask loved ones.

It’s recommended to have up to 6 months set aside in an emergency fund, if possible. However, you can start small with anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars. Whether it’s an unexpected car repair or tax bill, there will be times when you have to draw on this money. It’s there as your rainy day safety net, keeping you on track for your financial goals. However, if you don’t have an emergency fund, consider one of the options below.

Option 2: Look for Ways to Earn Money Fast

Before you ask people in your life for money, consider some ways to earn fast cash. If you’re creative, there are more options than you think. Thanks to the digital world we live in, you only need a bit of free time to start making money on the side. Here are some simple ideas:

  • Sell things you no longer use (old electronics, sports equipment, etc.)
  • Baby or tutor kids in your neighbourhood
  • Deliver food or drive with a gig working app
  • Start your own lucrative side hustle

Most of these things above can get you paid the same day you start, and they don’t take much know-how to be successful. If you’re consistently finding yourself short on cash, you might need a part-time job or other temporary work to catch up.

Option 3: Talk to Your Lender

If you’re worried that you can’t make the full payment for a debt on time, you might have options. For example, many auto shops, medical practices, and so on have flexible payment plans. The same is true for lenders and other lines of credit. If you can’t pay your full bill right now, there might be hardship programs for people in this situation.

While it’s often intimidating to talk to your lender when you’re struggling financially, they want to help. It’s in their best interest to work with you. While this might be surprising, it’s usually a better option to consult with your lender before borrowing money from friends and family.

Option 4: Talk to Friends and Family

That being said, if you only owe a small bit of money, friends and family might be willing to help. Still, this can be a burden for loved ones, and money can lead to relationship tension down the line. Never borrow more than you can afford to repay, and don’t forget to be clear about when you can repay your loved ones.

If you simply don’t have enough funds to pay your bills, many friends and family will be willing to help. It’s normal to experience financial stress from time to time. Never be afraid to ask for the help you need, especially if it’s only temporary.

Option 5: Look Into Debt Alternatives

Finally, you might also consider looking into debt repayment alternatives. If you’re unable to pay current repayment expenses, loan refinances or credit consolidation might be the right option. This is all part of addressing the underlying problem.

Asking for help when you’re short on cash is understandable. It might even be the right choice. However, you need to make sure you’re avoiding running into long-term debt problems. When you’re short on cash, this is a sign that you’re not planning your budget well.

Make a Plan for Your Cash Flow

Ultimately, running into money troubles is stressful and a reminder to take action. You never want to accumulate so much debt that it’s difficult to pay it off completely. While asking for cash from the bank, friends, and family occasionally is fine, it shouldn’t be something you rely on often.

Do you need help creating a budget? If so, we’re here to help. The team at Debt Busters has over 15 years of experience working with people of all backgrounds. Contact us today on 1300 368 322 to schedule your first meeting.

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Debt Busters is an Australian owned business which was founded in 2005 - since then we have been able to help thousands regain financial control.

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