You may have experienced it — sleepless nights, lack of hunger or focus, constantly worrying, possibly feeling completely overwhelmed. The pressure of not being able to make ends meet can seem insurmountable, especially when you have a family to take care of. Sometimes it can be a result of poor money management and destructive behaviors, but it can also be caused by things outside of your control. Whatever the reason, recognize that it does not have to be permanent. If you are committed, there is a way out.
Get another job
Adding a part-time job to the mix can make things feel more stressful, mainly because it leaves you with less time with your family. But adding a few hundred dollars to your income each month can go a long way toward getting you out of a hole. If you’re unemployed or underemployed, don’t let your pride lead to your family’s financial ruin. A few years ago, I read a story about a former hedge fund CEO who became a pizza delivery driver to make ends meet.
Take a look at what you can cut
According to a study done by Mint.com, cell phones, high-speed Internet and social media are three things people can’t live without these days. But if you’re unable to provide for your family, do you really need a smartphone with 4G capabilities? Or high-speed Internet to stream online movies and television? Downgrading or getting rid of unnecessary luxuries is a great step to putting first things first and getting your priorities back on track. If you do not have a family budget, learn how to create one.
Learn how to monetize a hobby
. If getting a part-time job sounds terrifying or unsustainable to you, ask yourself what you’re passionate about and determine if that’s something you can turn into a side business. At a time when my wife and I were struggling financially, I began writing about personal finance through a blog. Within just a couple of months, I was able to bring in significant monthly income from freelancing opportunities. Realistically, it can be anything you want. Chances are someone else is earning money doing what you love, and he is more than willing to share his experience online. Simply search and ye shall find. Here is one source on how to turn your hobby into a business.
Avoid payday loans like the plague
. Payday loans are a quick and easy way for some people to pay bills on time, but are they worth it? A typical payday loan company will charge you $17.50 in interest on a $100 loan. That’s not bad if you compare it to some of the credit card rates out there, but the catch is that your loan is due in about two weeks. If you can’t pay it off, you get hit with another $17.50. If you end up calculating the annual percentage rate (APR) of your loan, it comes out to be about 456 percent. Would it be too controversial to say that payday loans are in the business of keeping people in poverty?
Although there are many other solutions to the problem of not being able to make ends meet, it is of utmost importance to remember that the problem can be a temporary one. If you are committed and willing to get out of your comfort zone, you can escape the paycheck to paycheck trap and build a brighter financial future for your family.