Above Water:  Unexpected Surprises do not have to Become an Anchor

If you’re facing a sudden financial emergency, it’s easy to slip into enter panic-mode, not knowing what to do. Whether the crisis revolves around a car accident, roof repairs, or even a medical treatment, no one seems to be receptive towards your pressing situation, and the bills still need to be paid. Worse yet, you seem to be running out of time. What is there to do?

Sit down and evaluate the options

Panicking is the behavioral pattern that most of us default to, but it’s plainly obvious it’s not going to solve a thing. Above all else, you should avoid making any kind of financial decisions while being in this state of mind. If possible, try to avoid or delay the payment. To illustrate an example, let’s suppose the emergency has something to do with your car breaking down. You don’t need to take it to a repair shop straight away; just stick to the public transport until you can afford the repairs.

Try to negotiate a payment plan

If we’re talking about medical emergencies, for example, many hospitals are willing to let you negotiate a payment plan, so you can receive the urgent medical care you need while being able to cover the costs later on when you’re feeling well and the emergency is dealt with. A payment is even easier to negotiate if you’re buying high-ticket items like real estate or a new car (but in this case, such purchases are probably best avoided if your financial future doesn’t seem to be stable at the moment).

Cut down your spending on things that aren’t necessary

While lowering your standard of life for a while surely isn’t the most fun thing to do, it may be just the thing you need in order to gather enough money to pay for the expenses. Perhaps you can opt out of expensive online subscriptions or maybe you could cook your own food instead of eating out so frequently? You won’t believe how quickly these seemingly little things can add up during the course of the month.

Borrow from friends or family

Friends and family, apart from being a safe haven of love and support, can also serve as a financial backup when times get tough. Compared to a typical financial institution, your loved ones will often let you borrow money from them without enforcing any kind of deadlines or interest rates.

Get a loan

Sometimes, your friends will simply be unwilling to lend you their money, and this is understandable; they may not have enough of it themselves. In such cases, you can search for loan providers and apply online, and with a good credit history, most of them will approve you on short notice.

Making sure not to find yourself in similar situations in the future

Getting a loan is a last resort option, and it’s much better to have your finances under control by getting insured or building up some savings on the side (preferably both). That way, you will have additional options available in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation again.


No matter what kind of financial emergency you’ve found yourself in, the trick is to approach the situation with confidence. That way, you will be able to do whatever is needed in order to salvage it, while still making good financial decisions.


Arnel Ariate is the webmaster of Money Soldiers.

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