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An unexpected expense doesn’t wait for the hustle and bustle to end before landing in your lap. Like any ill-timed emergency, your car can break down right before your Christmas vacation, or your furnace can blow cold air just as the temperatures fall below zero.
You probably carry a few credit cards in your wallet just for these tricky situations. Except you probably also rely on these cards to get your holiday shopping done.
With your usual safety net taken off the board, handling an unexpected expense is all the more challenging. If you aren’t sure what your next move is, here are some ideas.
Revisit Your Budget
You might not think you have any cash to spare at this time of year, but you won’t know for certain unless you double-check your budget.
Become an Insider
Before moving on to the other tips, look at your upcoming expenses. If you review your budget early enough in the month, you might be able to put unnecessary spending on hold.
Look at your regular expenses like subscriptions and paid memberships first, but don’t be afraid to look at non-essential holiday spending, too. Can you decline an invite out somewhere, thereby saving a big restaurant bill or hostess gift?
If you can’t squeeze a single cent out of your budget, an online personal loan might be another way to handle your expense.
Many online loans act like a backup to your usual financial defences. If your savings or credit cards aren’t available in an emergency, you might be able to apply for a loan online.
The good news is, if you order a few of your gifts from Amazon this year, you’ve had enough practice to apply for a loan. With a few clicks, you can start applying for a personal loan online with some basic financial information, like your bank account and employment history.
Before you agree to any loan online, take the time to compare rates and terms. Like shopping for gifts, you’ll want to shop around. You’ll also want to make sure you can afford your repayments at the scheduled times.
Talk To Your Creditors and Service Providers
It might feel like second nature to deal with your financial emergency in silence, but no one will know if you need help unless you ask. You might be surprised when you do — many businesses, tech repair services, and healthcare practices have systems in place to help those dealing with financial emergencies.
Reach out to your creditor and explain the situation. Ask if there’s anything they can do to help, like a deferring a payment or arranging a financing plan.
A financing plan breaks up what you owe into smaller payments, much like an online loan. And like online loans, these financing plans may apply interest and finance charges, so make sure you understand what you agree to before you sign anything.
Nobody wants to be a grinch around the holidays, but these people have a business to run. Don’t be surprised if they don’t offer you a financing plan that solves everything. You might still need to budget carefully or rely on a personal loan to get by.
The holidays are some of the toughest times to deal with an unexpected emergency. Remember this as the new year approaches. If you start saving for Christmas in July, you’ll be in a better place for next year.
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