5 Finance Hacks to Get You Through Tough Times

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These quick tips will help you earn and save like never before.

Everyone suffers from financial turmoil at some point. Maybe you were laid off from work or furloughed during the partial government shutdown. No matter your situation, here are some ideas to keep you afloat while trying to get back on your feet during a financial rough patch.

1.    Cut out what you don’t need.

Nonessentials can wreak havoc on your budget. Streaming services such as Hulu, Spotify and Netflix will only increase stress when money is tight. You’ll also want to consider eliminating gym memberships that you never use or phone apps with monthly fees.

 2.  Earn money on regular expenses.

There are some essentials that you can’t cut out, like food and groceries. But it’s possible to earn money on some of your necessary expenses. Apps such as Ibotta will refund some of the money you’re already spending. You can shop for groceries as usual and submit your receipt, and they’ll give you cash back! Ebates is another handy app that functions similarly.

3.  Find a side hustle.

Lyft and Uber allow employees to make money just by driving. So if you don’t mind being on the road, you might want to give them a try. You can also look into Postmates or Waitr which allow you to deliver meals for cash. Another profitable opportunity is Airbnb, through which you can make money by renting out your home.

 4.  Sell things you no longer use.

Selling items that you no longer use is a great way to earn extra income to make it through hard times. Etsy allows users to sell handmade crafts and collectibles. You can also sell clothes from your closet on sites such as ThredUp, which send “clean-out kits” to help their clients clean out their closets. ThredUp then decides which items to sell and which pieces to donate for you, making consignment easier than ever. You can also sell to your local community by hosting a garage sale.

5. Always have an emergency savings fund.

One of the best ways to make it through financial hardship is to ensure that you have an emergency savings fund. Having three to six months of expenses on hand is advisable. However, saving this much money can be a daunting task. So it’s best to start small; try saving just one month of living expenses, and build from there. Your savings fund should be easy to access, but not too easy. A separate bank account or short-term CD can help remove the temptation of dipping in for non-emergencies.

By following these quick tips, you’ll preserve your sanity and make it over whatever financial hurdles life throws at you.


Kelli Richardson is a law student at Mercer University and freelance writer in Macon, Georgia. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and Pure Barre.