Dealing With Surprises When Money Is Tight

Money has always been a bit of a sore subject in the 16-Bit household. We’ve had times when I was unemployed for a while, so the amount of money coming in just wasn’t enough. There have been the odd occasion where something suddenly went wrong with the car, but we didn’t have enough cash to fix it and buy food for the month. There’s been a lot of things that have happened over the years that makes talking about money a tense situation at times.

However, we’ve always managed to get through the hard financial times and make it out the other side. Along the way, we’ve learnt a few little things that can help you out when money is tight, so let’s talk a look at some of them today!

Low Score Credit Cards

If like me a few years ago, your credit score is not looking so hot, then there are a bunch of low score credit cards that may still be available to you if you are in need of money relatively quickly. We went with Aqua, but there is a veritable tonne of other cards you can choose from.

The important thing to remember is that you need to be realistic and responsible with how you use these credit cards. After all, their interest rates are always going to be high and you won’t get a 12-month interest-free deal like you do with some standard credit cards. As such, you need to make sure that you are able to pay the money off, either the next month after use or at least relatively quickly.

Otherwise, you are going to be stung by the interest pretty badly. That can end up setting you off on a downward spiral of debt, making your credit score and financial situation even worse.

So, whilst low score credit cards can be a great way to have some breathing room, financially, you need to make sure you use them sensibly.

We got ourselves one of these cards, with a limit of just £100, to help us get food shopping when I was waiting to start a new job. It really helped us out, and actually started me on the road to rebuilding my credit score to what it is now.

Selling Old Stuff To “Declutter” Sites

Consider my love for retro games, you’d be surprised how much stuff we have sold to the likes of Music Magpie. In fact, we sent a huge box full of old DVDs to them once when we were strapped for cash.

They may not pay that much per item (most of our DVDs got between £0.50 and £3.00), but it adds up pretty damn quickly. Especially if you are getting rid of a host of items.

The risk is basically zero as well, as they provide the courier service to pick up the package, meaning that you don’t have to waste money travelling to the post office and paying the postage fee. This means that 100% of the money you sell the stuff for comes to you.

Because of this, if you find that you need some money pretty quickly, but it isn’t a huge amount, then getting rid of your old stuff on sites like Music Magpie can be a great idea. In fact, I’ve also recently started using Shpock as well, although I use it to buy stuff. However, that also means that people are successfully selling stuff on the app as well.

Stuff you put on marketplace apps like Shpock can take longer to sell, though, so they might not be best if you need money in a hurry… For example, if your car’s brakes or suspension have suddenly gone, something like Shpock probably won’t help.

We used Music Magpie to get some cash together to help pay for a replacement car because ours was well and truly on its way out.

Short Term Loans

Another option to get through difficulties when money is tight is to get a short-term loan. Like with credit cards, you need to be sensible about what you will be able to afford when it comes to repayments… Thus, you need to be realistic about how much you can borrow.

However, if you are careful, then a short-term loan can be a great way to get the cash for fixing your car, sorting out a leak in the house or just about any other surprise cost.

Sites like Cash Lady are good ways to get one of these loans, and you can get the money lightning fast, which is great! However, once again, I must stress that you need to be realistic about what you can afford. Don’t go taking out a loan of thousands of pounds if you won’t be able to repay it.

When we were running out of money because I had been laid off, a short term loan helped us get through the bills until I started a new job. We then paid it off as quickly as possible.

And That’s All Folks

Those are three ways that you can get some money quickly to deal with surprises when finances are tight. As you can see, we’ve used these tactics ourselves and, as long as you are sensible with what you are doing, can really help you get through some sticky situations.

Have you ever had to get hold of some cash in a hurry? What did you do? Let me know in the comments below!

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Hello there! I’m Gareth, the 16-Bit Dad; a retro gaming blogger, Twitch Streamer and Autism Parent. With a focus on great games, a wonderful Stream community and help for other Autism Parents, I review games, play them with the community and share my learnings about Autism!

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