It’s the middle of the month, and you are running out of money. Panic sets in when you realise payday is still weeks away. What do you do? Run for the hills? Wish for the magical Money Fairy? Declare yourself bankrupt? Well, that last idea is a last resort option, and the other ideas won’t help you at all. Still, you don’t have to lose sleep over the problem. Here is some practical advice that is a little more realistic.

Stop spending. If there is anything you don’t need to spend money on, then don’t. It’s time to take stock of what money you have available. Use a budget calculator to work out where your money is going and what cutbacks can be made.

Prioritize. Some bills will take priority, especially those that are tied into collateral, such as on a house or car. Then there are the payments that will directly affect your family’s health if they are missed, such as electricity and rent. When possible, pay these bills first, but if that is a struggle, contact each company in turn and ask for a payment plan, or if applicable, a payment holiday.

Work out why you have no money. It may not be your fault, and you may be spending over the odds on your utility bills, loans, credit cards, etc. You can still do something for the long-term, even if the present moment is difficult. This includes doing a price comparison and switching to a cheaper utility provider, and consolidating your loans into one manageable sum per month.

Try and source money. While you may not want to turn to friends and family, you should still swallow your pride if you are struggling. You may also qualify for a cash advance online, but you need to be wary of extending your debt. You should also consider other methods of making quick money, such as selling any unwanted items, taking online surveys, or taking on extra work on a temporary basis.

Remember to eat. You still need to eat, so take advantage of any discounts your store has, and learn to cook a few simple recipes. You may also have money-off vouchers stored away somewhere, so have a look, and use any you have available. There may also be a food bank near you, so pluck up the courage to explain your situation. You might also consider inviting yourself round to friends, family and neighbours, especially around mealtimes. It is possible to eat cheaply so don’t go without.

Seek help. If you are on a permanently low income, there may be benefits you qualify for. Speak to your local government office for advice. Then speak to a debt relief organisation if you are spending much of your income on loans and credit cards. You don’t need to struggle alone, and there are places you can turn to for help.

We all suffer financially sometimes, and it can be through no fault of our own. There are always those unexpected expenses, for example, that can damage our bank balance. By following our advice, and speaking to others for help, you should be able to bounce back, eventually.

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