3 Things That Helped Me Through Financially Difficult Times

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The right tools can help you navigate challenging financial situations more easily.


key point

  • Many people go through financially difficult times in their lifetime.
  • By using the right financial tools and products, you may be able to face your money woes more easily.

We all have unique financial situations, and no one’s financial journey is the same as anyone else’s. Many people go through tough times and have to continue to make important financial choices despite their money struggles.

While I am thankful that my financial situation has improved today, I have also experienced some financial struggles. Fortunately, I have the knowledge and ability to utilize personal financial products to overcome some of my challenges.

While using these tools didn’t make my money problems go away right away, they allowed me to continue living my life with less stress. With the right financial tools, you may be able to deal with financial distress more easily.

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Here are three things that helped me get through tough financial times.

1. 0% interest car loan

While in college, I could no longer rely on my city’s imperfect public transportation system. I need a reliable car to get to and from get out of class and work on time.

Luckily, I got my first credit card in high school. Since I only use this credit card for small, manageable purchases and always pay my entire balance in full, I have good credit.

When it came time to buy a car, I didn’t have enough savings to just buy a well-run car, and I didn’t have a used family car to drive.

But I am eligible for a three-year 0% interest car loan. At the time, I was working as a waiter in college, so I saved some money for a down payment.

I walked away in my new car with a loan commitment of $350 a month. Because I qualify for an interest-free loan, I don’t have to worry about additional costs in the form of interest – which can get expensive.

Since it was a 36 month loan, I could pay off my car loan relatively quickly, so by the time I was in my 20s, my salary was meager and I had no loan hanging over my head.

I drove that car for over eleven years until it had an accident. I am so grateful that the car has accompanied me through several chapters of my life.

2. Emergency savings

I don’t always have a lot of change in my emergency fund. But sometimes I set aside extra money when I need it.

My husband and I became first home buyers in 2019 and our furnace needed to be replaced within three months of closing.

Despite doing a home inspection and knowing the furnace was old (but still running), we didn’t expect to have to replace it so soon after closing our new home. Thankfully, our emergency fund makes the situation less painful.

Is there any harm in draining these funds? Absolutely. But it could be worse.

If you can afford it, making regular contributions to a savings account can go a long way when unexpected expenses arise.

We recommend setting up automatic contributions so you can save regularly without delay. Your future you will thank you!

3. 0% APR Credit Card

I’ve used a 0% APR credit card twice. Once, my laptop froze unexpectedly and I needed to buy a new laptop ASAP. By getting this type of credit card, I can buy a good laptop and spread the cost of the purchase over time without worrying about expensive interest charges.

Another time a 0% APR credit card made my finances less difficult was when my cat needed emergency surgery. I can better afford her care and be able to pay off my debt over time.

If I didn’t use the 0% APR credit card to pay for these charges, I could end up in a worse financial situation by accumulating expensive credit card debt. During those times in my life, I had very little savings, so I had no choice but to rely on my credit card.

Choosing a card with a 0% promotional rate was the way to go, luckily my credit score helped me qualify for this card.

If you’re going through a challenging financial situation right now, or find yourself dealing with a problem in the future, try to focus on the things you can control.

You probably have more solutions than you realize. Check to see if there are any financial products that can help you navigate your situation.

If you’re in good financial shape, now is the time to plan for the future.

You can make financial choices to help you improve your credit score, save more money, and prepare for the unexpected so you can easily handle life’s many adventures—no matter what challenges come your way.

Are you looking to improve your financial situation? These personal financial resources may be helpful.

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