It is not uncommon to go through a holiday financial emergency because you can never really tell when it will strike. Even if you are already preparing your finances for the coming new year, emergencies can still happen. As you prepare your yearly family gathering, your car might need some repairs or a hole in the roof could suddenly pose a threat to your holiday gathering.
Financial emergencies strike when you least expect it and even if you are just about to make preparations for the holiday celebration. Even if you are just coming off an emergency, another one can come right at you without any warning. This is one of the reasons why a lot of people are having a hard time reeling off from a financial emergency.
The end of the year celebrations makes any holiday financial emergency a lot harder to get out of. One one end, you are trying to end the year on a happy note with family and friends near you. However, you are also trying to navigate your finances through some challenges which could essentially ruin your holidays if left unchecked.
If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few things you can do to help you manage it better. Financial emergencies happen without any warning and there is so little you can do to stop it from happening. Once you are in that situation, you can choose to let it run over you or you can take control of the situation here are some tips to give you the chance to manage your money emergencies.
Make a thorough assessment of the problem
As you go through a holiday financial emergency, the first thing you need to do is look at the problem and understand it thoroughly. To help you come up with an effective solution, you need to know what you are going to solve. This might seem like an easy task but you need to go through it because there are times you miss the obvious.
That roof that needs to be repaired might be more than just a hole in your house. You could also need some electrical repair and insulation replacement. That car that breaks down could be having mechanical and electrical concerns. The ides is to look at the problem and understand what caused it to be able to treat the emergency at its very source.
Once you are able to develop this habit of digging deeper and having a better understanding of every situation, you will be able to think of better solutions. This is a necessary step because it can help you be more aware of what is really happening around you. You learn to see through situations and identify the real problem.
Look at your resources on hand
Any type of holiday financial emergency requires a solution and you have to assess what you have at present to address the problem. If you have been saving and strengthening your reserve fund in the past years, it can help you weather the storm. This is actually the reason why you set aside a specific amount for your reserve fund every month.
If you suddenly need some immediate home repairs, you can use the money you have saved up to get it underway. It is also possible that the computer you use at home for your side gig suddenly breaks down. You can replace it quickly with your emergency fund so you can get back and earning a little extra especially as the holidays cause a spike in your expenses.
If you do not have an emergency fund, you need to carefully weigh the resources you have on hand. You cannot simply swipe your cards away to cover for the emergency because you could potentially be creating another problem. It is a possible solution but you should look at other ways to solve your problem as well.
You can cut down on holiday expenses
There is no question that the holidays can be an expensive time of the year. You could be preparing to buy gifts for family and friends, putting together that year-end party, or even arranging your trip to be with family over the holidays. Going through a holiday financial emergency can certainly affect any plans you have for Christmas. Gallup shares that Americans spent about $906 in 2017 for their holiday expenses.
You need to understand what your priorities are and go from there. If your emergency comes from the fact that you lost your job, you might need to cut down on some gift expenses so you can put it back onto your budget. This will help sustain your expenses as you go out and look for a new job to replace the old one.
If your financial emergency comes from a broken dishwasher, you can cut some costs around that party you are planning to help you either get a new one or have the old one repaired. You would need it badly if you are having that party at home. Bottomline is that you can cut down on some holiday costs if it means it can help you get through your money problems.
Learn from the experience to make better financial decisions in the future
Holiday financial emergency will always rain down on whatever plans you could have for the season. One way to move forward with this is to take the lessons it is teaching you and learn from it. This will help you be better the next time the same thing happens in the future. It can be a year from now when you go through the holidays again or for another expensive holiday in the near future.
The challenges you had to go through can push you to make better decisions when it comes to your finances. You do not want to be in the same position you are now again that is why you are determined to lessen the mistakes you make. Fewer mistakes results to lower chances of getting into many types of financial emergencies.
Do not be afraid to ask help from others
There will be times when you need to reach out and ask for some help from people closest to you like family and friends. If you cannot face everything on your own, you can ask people for help. It is not a sign of weakness but rather, one of maturity. It is not always asking for money but you can also ask for advice or even just an opportunity to earn extra money over the holidays.
Just be sure that if you do ask for financial help from people around you, pay them back the first opportunity you get. It can be on your next paycheck or as soon as you get that payment for your side gig. Remember that you could also be putting their holidays at risk when you borrow money they might need for themselves or for their family.
Holiday financial emergency is one of the worst kinds because it could put your holiday plans on holds such as travel or social gatherings. Once you find yourself in this situation, you need to start prioritizing and even cutting down on your holiday costs. Not only will this help you get through the holidays unscathed but it can also keep you from getting into too much debt. This gives you a great chance of starting the new year with your finances intact.