Note: This article contains affiliate links (hyperlinks, widgets, or through images), which means I receive compensation if you purchase a product through them. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers. Visit my disclosure page for more information.
The ice, snow, and freezing temps of winter can ruin anyone’s day. A downed tree takes out the roof of your porch. A patch of black ice sends your car careening into a median. A deep freeze ices up your pipes.
Unfortunately, the contractor, mechanic, and plumber all require money on the spot. How do you get money to handle winter emergencies?
You could go to a financial institution for personal loans or installment loans. The key here is to know that many of these loans are very high interest, so you’ll owe back even more than what you get.
The consequences of nonpayment are worse than an awkward family reunion, so don’t even think about it unless you’re sure you can pay it off on schedule.
Then you have other options like credit card advances, dipping into your home equity, and borrowing against your life insurance. While these may do the trick, you still have to repay.
If you want the all-clear to move on, it’s always best to earn the cash you need.
Ask For Help
This is a really tough position that forces you to swallow your pride. Relationships can become strained over personal loans; the lender is worried about the position they’ll have to take if the borrower doesn’t repay, and the borrower feels awkward about convincing the lender to trust them on this.
Still, borrowing money from family members and friends may be a good option.
If you’re unsure, ask for that “loan” to essentially be payment for future services. For example, you can ask your aunt to give you $300 now, and when the weather warms up, you’ll take care of her landscaping.
If hitting up your family or a bank just isn’t your style, there are plenty of ways in which you can get that extra money for yourself, fair and square, no repayment required.
Since you’re short on time, go online right away. Use groups on social media and public classifieds to sell everything you don’t need (bonus: you’re decluttering your home and getting a head start on spring cleaning).
If you take clear photos and can write a few lines of fetching copy, you could have hundreds or even thousands of dollars’ worth of offers by the end of the day.
It’s also a good time to take advantage of the gig economy. Can you play an instrument, repair clocks, tutor someone in math, plan a party, paint signs, repair decks, or write calligraphy?
Think far and wide about what you’re good at, and write an ad for yourself. Chances are, someone out there needs your expertise, no matter how small or inconsequential you consider your talents to be.
You’re going to make it through this winter. Accidents and emergencies may pop up, but if you can capitalize on your strengths, let go of what you no longer need, or make a commitment to pay your debts, you’ll move on just fine. Think outside of the box, take it in stride, and be wary of taking out loans that will just put you in another tight spot.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.