Sometimes there are moments when money is a little tighter than usual. A check is coming in late, your hours were cut unexpectedly, or an unplanned expense pops up. Typically, when those moments happen it’s at the most inconvenient time possible. And, it’s especially stressful when these situations crop up around the first of the month when rent is due.
If you’re finding that there is more month than money and that it’s painfully, glaringly obvious that you’re going to be late for rent, there are a number of actions that you can do to take control of the situation before the situation takes control of you.
First, and most importantly, don’t panic. I’ve made my worst financial decisions every single time that I’ve allowed panic to dictate my actions. One of the constants about money is that it ebbs and flows. If you’re in a low-income flow situation and you begin to panic, you will begin to make choices that will be more expensive over time. Some of those decisions include:
- Borrowing money – If you’re already broke, borrowing money is just not going to work out for you in the long-run. Umm….because you’re already broke. You will then be on the hook for any overdue rent money and the money that you borrowed.
- Payday loans – I’ve had these and it feels like they should be helpful. Basically, you borrow on upcoming income. But, you are also charged a ridiculous amount of interest that you already can’t afford because you’re broke. Just avoid these like the plague.
- Shutting down mentally – This one is hard. I actually struggle with this a lot. Sometimes I will just shut down and kind of avoid what’s going on. Not good. Again, this will make a bad situation even worse. You have to be mentally present in order to deal with the financial issue at hand – you’re going to be late for rent.
Fortunately, there are a number of actions you can take to take control of the situation and hopefully never be late again.
If you’re going to be late on your rent because you need an extra $100 dollars, spend some time thinking about where you can get that extra money and begin hustling. If you’re late because you just don’t have the entire amount…again, start hustling. The sooner you begin working to bring more cash in the sooner you can resolve the issue.
If you are one month out and you can already tell that you don’t have money for rent-you’re in luck. Thirty days out is plenty of time to focus on growing your income. Not sure what you could do to bring in more cash? Here are some ideas:
- Animal sitting – I’m not a huge animal person, but if it came down to it, I could doggy sit for a couple of days. I can love on the dog and then return it to its owner and get paid to take care of it. It’s a win-win because I would get puppy time without dealing with all of the long-term stuff and get paid. If you live in an animal crazy city like Denver, you could get started pretty quickly on earning some extra cash in about a week.
- Sell your stuff – Americans are notorious packrats. We have a ridiculous amount of stuff in our homes. Sell it via:
1. Craigslist – But, do it at a safe location. There are many cities where you can do the pick ups and drop offs of items at designated safe areas (typically police stations)
2. Have a yard sale – if it’s still warm enough to rock a yard sale, DO IT! I’m continuously amazed by all of the stuff people will buy.
3. Sell your clothes – For this to work, you need to have really nice clothes with good resale value.
4. Sell your bigger items – If your situation is especially dire, sell: your car, your high-end electronics, etc. If you sell your car, you will also free up additional cash because you won’t have to pay for insurance, car maintenance, or gas.
- Sell your expertise – Necessity is the mother of invention. Sell your expertise. If you are looking to grow your income, think about what you are considered an expert at and set up a day to teach people how to do what you do.
Talk it out.
Review your rental agreement. Again, if you’re going to be late because you’re a little short of cash, also look at what you will be charged in regards to late fees. Late fees vary but could make a bad situation much worse really quickly.
Communicate. There is nothing worse than catching your landlord off-guard. If you’re hustling, and the money is just going to come in after your rent is due (and you know it) talk to your landlord and continue to hustle your ass off.
There is nothing worse than being late for rent, but, there are a number of ways to manage the situation proactively. Good luck!
Have you been late on your rent, or close to it? How did you handle it? Let us know over in the #Adulting Facebook community.