It’s easy to say you should save money for emergencies. It’s even a really great plan, but it isn’t always possible. However, when you have the emergency situation under control saving as little as $10 a month can go a long way to preparing you for the next emergency. But what if you need the money right away?
Savings in Hidden Places
You may already have savings that you haven’t even thought about. There are several financial products you may have which you can tap into. If you have a life insurance policy, you may be able to withdraw a portion of the accumulated cash value of the policy. The amount which is available will depend on the policy size and the length of time you have been making payments towards the policy.
Other options include retirement accounts, private IRAs, and even college savings plans like the 529. If you have ever put money into any of these types of accounts you can probably withdraw at least a portion of the money. This should really only be considered as a last result, however, because it will almost certainly result in a tax penalty.
Installment Loans and Credit Cards
If you don’t have access to any type of savings but you do have a job, you may want to consider an installment loan. These are smaller loans that are available more quickly than a traditional loan and they are available to people who don’t have perfect credit. In the past, many people only had the option of a payday loan but these have a bad reputation for making financial difficulties worse.
Financial lending companies realized this and created small installment loans to give consumers a better option. If this is something you’d like to consider, get more info about the types of products and eligibility requirements in order to make a truly informed decision.
Another option may be to secure a credit card. This is a solution that requires a bit more forethought. You will need to obtain a credit card and then keep it set aside only for emergency use. The only problem is, most credit cards take several weeks to arrive in the mail which may be longer than you have in a true financial emergency. If you need money immediately the installment loan may be a better option.
Leverage the Gig Economy
The gig economy presents a fantastic opportunity for those who find themselves in need of emergency funds. If you have a special skill or reliable transportation you are well on your way to having the ability to make money quickly if the need arises.
There is always a high demand for people who are able to tutor students. If you have experience in a subject field and access to a computer, it is likely you can make some extra cash tutoring in your area of expertise. There are a large number of websites which are devoted entirely to helping students find tutors. Some of these offer direct employment and will take more time to begin earning money. Other sites offer the ability to complete the exchange between two individuals. Using free video conferencing and electronic payment methods such as Stripe or PayPal will allow you to begin tutoring foreign students in English almost immediately.
Writing is another career which allows people the freedom to take only the work they want and be paid upon completion. There are many companies who keep a pool of writers on hand to complete work as it comes in, signing up for one of these is an excellent way to establish yourself and have access to emergency funds. Alternatively, there are bidding sites that allow people who have a writing project to find freelance writers for single assignments.
If you don’t feel comfortable teaching or writing or even working online, there are plenty of gig opportunities that can be completed in person. Uber and other ride services allows almost anyone to turn their reliable mode of transportation into a money-making taxi. Other services allow individuals to deliver food, groceries, and complete other tasks for immediate payment.
When you need money quickly for an emergency it is always reassuring to have some hiding in savings. When that isn’t an option securing and installment loan or relying on a credit card are good options. Alternatively, having a fallback gig that brings money in quickly may also work. Ideally, you will cultivate a combination of methods so you have multiple options in an emergency.