NikolayFrolochkin (CC0), Pixabay

Trying to make ends meet can be tricky sometimes, especially with everything going on in the world right now. It is harder than ever to find a small job on the side, or even a new job altogether that may pay more. You don’t want to risk losing the one you do have because so many people are unemployed right now.

We have come up with a few great tips or things that you can do to help make ends meet, especially during this hard time.

Look for Side Gigs

Finding a “side gig” right now may seem hard, but it is still possible if you know where to look. Because of the pandemic, places such as Door Dash, Instacart, and Uber Eats are in high demand and are actively looking for more people to join. If you feel comfortable going out in public actively, then this is a great option. Many people choose to get their food and groceries delivered to try and stay safe, so the demand is much higher than it was at the beginning of the year.

Getting a delivery job is also a great option if you are already employed. You won’t have a strict schedule and you can truly work as much or as little as you want when you want. Can’t really beat that!

One major thing to keep in mind is that these side gigs (at least these specific ones) are considered self-employment and so you do not get any taxes taken out now. You would owe when the time comes to file your taxes and employment.

Importance of Loans

Depending on what you need the money for, getting a loan may be something you want to consider. You might ask yourself, “Why get a loan if you are trying to make ends meet?” This is a valid question, making it even more important to have a defined reason what you need the money for.

If you are making enough money to be comfortable but don’t have a large chunk of money to shell out for an item, property, or even a type of service, then a loan may be a good option. Making monthly payments on a loan is drastically different cost-wise than buying something outright. If you need a one-time large amount of money and can afford a little more per month, then loans should definitely be considered.

There are a few different types, though. One type is a title loan. Title loans are loans that use collateral as a guarantee that you will pay. For example, you would use your car title as your collateral for your loan.

They sound tricky at first but are actually really simple to understand. If you are comfortable with getting a loan and are sure you or your family could afford the payments, this is definitely a good option.

A common misconception with the title loans is that they take your car. This is actually not true. You are the owner of the vehicle, so you still have possession of it. They would only get your vehicle if you did not make your loan payments. Think of it as a store or business that takes your license to ensure you return their product or item after you’ve used it.

Another type of loan is a personal loan. These are relatively common, and you probably already know what it is or what it’s involved with it, but maybe forgot it as a financial help option. These personal loans are just typically taken out through the bank you have a checking or savings account with. We recommend you do your research prior to taking out a loan, ensuring you understand the interest rates, minimum payments, etc.

Declutter Your Subscriptions

What exactly do we mean by this? We mean that you should go through all of your monthly subscriptions and decide whether they are necessary and need to stay or choose to cut some to free up your budget. Even though they only take a small portion, if you have a lot of subscriptions, then these tiny amounts eventually add up to huge ones. Even if you only cut $20, that is an extra $20 than you had the previous month.

The easiest way to do this is to go through your checking account and write down all of your subscriptions, their name, and how much they cost. This way, you can have a better overview of the total cost of possibly unnecessary subscriptions and exactly how much you pay per month. You might not even realize how many you have, or that you don’t really use them.

Learn to Cook on a Budget

This may seem a little strange, but learning to cook can save you tons of money in the long run. “But I don’t eat out. I make those throw-in-the-oven meals!” This is still a money drain! Premade, throw-in-the-oven meals can cost you more than if you bought the ingredients separately, in bulk, and cooked the meal yourself.

Take a frozen lasagna as an example. This meal can cost anywhere between $10-$15, depending on the size of the lasagna. If you bought the meat, the lasagna pasta sheets, cheese, and sauce separately, it would total anywhere between $5-$10 depending on the brand and if you bought any items in bulk or not.

Preparing your meals at home can also help you if you have a bad habit of eating out a lot. Spending $10 on takeout isn’t that bad. However, when you add up $10 every day for lunch for a week, that’s $50 a week, which comes out to $200 a month. Imagine how much you could save if you made an effort to cook at home. If you don’t believe it, go ahead and write it all down to compare. Packing lunch could save you more money than you think.

We hope you found this list of tips useful and even achievable. Some things may feel overwhelming and scary right now, especially financially, but there are still some good ways to help make ends meet.