Emergencies can happen at any time, and there can be severe consequences if you don’t have the money to pay for them. Expensive medical treatments, time off work for sickness, a broken down car – there are plenty of occasions when life can bite you hard. If you have a healthy savings account, it’s not going to be too hard for you to stay afloat. But if you don’t? Well, then read on.
We’ve put together a list of great ideas that you can use to free up cash quickly. Try and use these before you apply for another credit card – they will help you from falling any further into debt. And, if you have any to add, let us know in the comments section below.
Raid your jewellery box
When was the last time you have a good look at your jewellery? The chances are that there are pieces in your collection that you just don’t use anymore. Gold, silver and platinum can get you a decent amount of cash if you have it spare or have no emotional attachment to it. So, have a real think about your jewellery and see if you can use any of it to get you out of your fix.
Clear out your books
If you have a well-stocked bookcase, perhaps it’s time to slim things down a little? Be honest – while there are a few books in your collection that are worth keeping, you could probably rid yourself of around 80% of them. You have a couple of options, here. First of all, you could set up an eBay account and sell your books through there. Or, you could bring them into an independent bookseller. You’ll probably get a better price per book by selling them separately, but it may take a while to sell them all. The advantages of a bulk sale are that you will get all the money in one hit.
Car boot sale
The Sunday morning car boot sale has become a bit of an institution in the UK. And, it’s a great way of getting rid of stuff you don’t use anymore and raise some cash for emergencies. Get your things together, find a boot sale site, and make sure that you arrive very early. Price everything realistically, and be prepared to haggle – there are some wily operators out there who like to try their luck. As the day progresses, think about dropping your prices to get more money.It’s worth doing if you want to raise as much as possible on a particular day.
Have a gadget sale
Many households up and down the country are full of old gadgets and electronics. So why not have a clear out and sell them on? People are always looking for good deals on second-hand phones, TVs and games consoles, so have a rummage and see what you can find. You could also ask your friends or family if they have any stuff they are getting rid of. In many cases, they will be glad for the declutter and happy for you to take things away.
Pick up free stuff and sell it
Have a look around at the many website services that offer free stuff. Freecycle and Craigslist are often full of people wanting to get rid of furniture and homeware. They will happily give it to you for nothing if you pick it up. Get it, take it home and make some repairs, and then sell it online or in person. Once you get started, you will find some amazing things that people just want to get rid of – and if you can turn their old stuff into money, then good on you.
Go on a metal hunt
If you have a scrap metal merchant near you, go and have a chat with them. Most houses have copper, aluminium and other saleable metals lying around, and you can get good money for them. Don’t steal it, of course. But ask your friends and family if they have anything you could clear out for them, and they will be happy enough to see the back of the mess.
Babysitting and dog walking
If you have friends with kids or animals, why not offer a service to them? People are always on the lookout for trusted help, and you can earn a decent amount of cash if you manage to source a few clients. In fact, it can also lead to a nice little sideline going well into the future. You could use all of your earnings to pump into an emergency fund, which will help you out the next time you get stuck.
Rent out a room in your house
If you have a spare room in your home, why not rent it out? It’s easy to get started, and getting a tenant in that pays upfront can be a very quick way of getting hold of some funds in an emergency. Try a service like AirBnB to get started.
If you own your home and need to free up some cash, why not think about remortgaging to free up some of your equity? You will need to talk to your mortgage lender, but it’s a good way of getting your hands on some cash, and won’t take too long to process if you are accepted. Of course, you won’t maximise the money on your house, but if it gives you what you need, it’s certainly worth thinking about.
Sell your house
OK, so this is extreme. But, if the emergency is extreme, and you need to raise a significant amount of money fast, it’s a viable option for you. There are plenty of companies that will pay you for your home, and although you may not get market value for it, it will happen quickly. Top Cash Offer, for example, say that they can have everything complete within seven days. So, if you have an emergency medical treatment you need to pay for and were thinking of downsizing anyway; it’s worth looking into.
Any ideas to add? We’d love to hear them, so get involved if you have anything to share.