Monthly Archives: September 2017

5 Strategies to Come Up With the Money that You Need in an Emergency

Sticking to a budget is difficult for most of us, especially when unexpected expenses occur. No matter how well things seem to be going in your life now, there is always the risk that your vehicle or a major appliance could break down. You might even become sick and need money that just isn’t in your budget to fill prescriptions so that you can get well. Regardless of how secure you think you are, there are always unplanned expenses that can derail your finances.

This is one of the reasons why many financial experts believe it is so important for everyone to set aside at least some of their earnings to create an emergency fund. Despite your best intentions to control your expenses and save, however, there are still times when you might find yourself short of cash. 

The following are a few ideas to help you come up with the money to pay for an unexpected bill.

Credit Cards

A fast and easy way to come up with the money to cover an emergency is to place the expense on your credit card. This strategy, has a number of drawbacks, however. For example, most credit accounts charge a high-interest rate on the balance owed.

Making the minimum payment can also place additional strain on limited budgets. Few households pay off these accounts before interest charges begin.  According to WalletHub’s 2017 study of credit card debt, the average American household owes just over $8,000 on their credit cards.  


Another way to come up with the money when you have an unexpected expense is to take out a personal loan. Lenders such as allow borrowers to quickly get the money that they need without putting up an asset, such as their car, as collateral.

These unsecured, personal loans can feature interest rates that are lower than those charged by credit card companies. They are a good alternative to payday loans that often have hidden fees and short repayment terms.

Some lenders even allow borrowers to apply for personal loans online so that they can quickly receive a decision on their loan request without having to physically apply in person.

Sell Your Assets

If you are truly strapped for cash but don’t want to take on additional debt, you can also sell some of your belongings. Though not easy to part with, items like gold jewelry, true silverware, and other valuables can be sold or pawned in order to come up with the money. If you have several items to sell, such as electronics, books, household appliances and clothes, you could host a yard sale to try to raise the money that you need.

If dragging everything out into your yard doesn’t sound appealing, you can take your gently used clothing to a consignment shop. An additional strategy is to take pictures of the items that you wish to sell and listing them in an online yard sale on a social media platform such as Craigslist or a local Facebook group.

The main drawback of selling your assets to raise emergency funds is that it can take some time to sell enough items to raise a large amount of money. Also, there really is no guarantee that someone will want to buy your items.

Take on a Second Job

Another way to raise funds in an emergency is to take on an additional part-time job. This might not be a viable strategy however if you live in a small area that’s currently experiencing an economic downturn where few jobs are available.

If you have a skill that you can monetize, such as speaking a foreign language, completing tax returns, babysitting, sewing, mowing yards or even freelance writing, you might be able to create your own side gig to help you raise extra funds. However, taking on another job can be a huge demand on your available time and energy.


Finally, you could use social media or a fundraising platform to ask others to simply donate money to you. To increase your chance of success you will need to be able to create a compelling story as to why others should help you raise the money that you need. It’s also helpful to have a way to publicize your story at little to no cost.

There are a lot of folks that are using fundraising to help them come up with the money to pay for unexpected medical bills or fund trips and other expenses. Crowd-sourcing campaigns face a lot of competition, and you can easily invest a lot of time and energy but receive little for your efforts.