Beyond borrowing: finding alternatives during tough times

Credit can be very helpful for buying large items or dealing with emergencies. But it can be dangerous to rely on credit to make ends meet every single month, because you could be at risk of over-indebtedness. Borrowing money to pay off other debt also tends to get you further into debt because of additional interest payments, etc.

If you keep running out of money before the end of the month then instead of borrowing more, it could be time to try to find ways to either spend less or earn more.

Spend less

Of course, this is easier said than done. A good place to start is looking at your budget to see if there are any areas where you can reduce your spending. It helps to get the rest of your family on board with the budget as well.

When it comes to the question of wants vs needs, this is a very personal judgement and no one else can decide for you. However, when money is tight you may need to look carefully at your priorities. Are there any items where you can switch to a cheaper alternative, use less than usual or simply go without for a few months?

Earn more

If the current economic climate means it’s unrealistic to expect a raise anytime soon, your next option may be to look for other ways to earn some extra cash. Do you have anything you aren’t using anymore that you could sell, such as furniture, appliances or baby items? Can you bake or make craft items to sell? Can you offer a service like giving lifts or tutoring children? Do you have a room to rent out?

Borrowing less means less to pay off

Sometimes using credit may seem like the quickest and easiest solution (or possibly the only solution) to avoid running out of money, but in the end, the more you borrow the more you have to pay back – with interest.

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