Sometimes life throws us for a loop. Whether it’s an unexpected car repair, a medical bill, or a family emergency that required you to drop everything, miss work, and drive 6 hours away to help out a parent, there’s often very little notice when things go wrong. And when things go wrong, things tend to get expensive, and before you know it, rent’s due and you just know you aren’t going to make it.
Here are some things that you can do to try and mitigate the problem.
Ask for an Extension
Be honest. Call your landlord and give them a heads up that you’re doing everything you can, but that you had an unexpected expense and that you’re not sure you will be able to make the payment on time. If possible, offer to pay whatever amount you can when it is due, to show that you do fully intend to pay, and then get the rest to them as soon as possible. You may incur a penalty for late payment, but it is always better to give your landlord notice than to surprise them with a missing check. It’s important to make sure that this sort of thing doesn’t become a habit.
Check with a friend or family member to see if they might be able to cover what you are going to be short, but make sure you repay the loan promptly, and once again, don’t make it a habit. If you don’t have friends or family that can help, there are same-day cash advance places that you can borrow from, but this is never a good plan. Interest rates are astronomical, and they are set up to rip you off.
Offer an Exchange
If you are skilled in a particular craft, see if you can work out a deal with your landlord. Offer to paint the exterior of the building or take care of some of the landscaping work in exchange for a discount on your rent. In many cases, the cost of having the service done will be far above the missing rent payment, and as long as you do a good job, this can work out to the landlord’s benefit.
Depending on how short on rent you are, you may be able to sell some things to make up the extra cash. An old gaming console, excess furniture that’s in storage, or even your time can help make up the difference. Online sites can help you get rid of some of your excess baggage easily and also make up the missing rent.
Ask for an Advance
Depending on how long you’ve been with your employer and how your payroll is set up, you may want to see if you can ask for an advance on your pay. Many companies offer this, but once again, you want to make sure that you aren’t doing this too often. It shows irresponsibility on your part and it also gets you a bit behind for your future bills.
Saving to Avoid Future Problems
Once you’ve managed to cover your rent shortage this month, it’s important to begin to set a budget and savings goals to help prevent similar problems in the future. Begin a basic investing strategy and learn about trading to help you get started in securing your finances against future troubles. Keeping a few months’ worth of expenses set aside in case of emergency will help prevent future crises.
If you find yourself struggling to make rent on a regular basis, you’re probably in need of financial counseling. Sit down and figure out your budget and then stick to it. See what bills are absolutely necessary and cut the excess, prioritizing things like rent, food, and utilities.
Alana Downer works at Learn To Trade. She is an experienced blogger whose main interest lie in finances and new technologies. She might often be found online, sharing her insights into technology trends which shape the way both businesses and individuals function.