Raya has come and gone: the lemang has been eaten and the duit raya distributed. It's time to return to the old grindstone and face reality. But before that, you need to survive for the rest of July financially.
But lo and behold, your ATM blinks a balance of RM170.56. How could that possibly be and how will you survive?
Okay, so the number is an example but you get the idea. You've overspent during Raya; the credit card bill is resembling the Yellow Pages (a once gigantic phone directory that you do not want to drop on your foot, before the rise of the internet) and you've also taken a personal loan before Raya to anticipate the Raya binge.
Don't panic! What's done is done but now; it's important to set things right before the remaining months resemble a budgeting nightmare. Here are some tips to dealing with the aftermath of Raya overspending.
Get All the Numbers Together
The first thing to do to tackle the problem is to figure out just how much you owe and what the monthly repayments look like. To do this, you need to first gather the credit card statements, loan agreements and bank statements.
Once you've got the numbers; you can plan your course of action. Is your problem mainly credit cards, cash flow or a combination of both? Perhaps your problem is everything from credit cards, personal loans to whittled bank accounts.
Knowing where the problem lies is the first step to fixing it.
For Credit Card Debt: Get a Balance Transfer
Did you pile your credit card or multiple credit cards with a balance you can't comfortably repay every month?
You could turn it all into one easy payment and save on interest by getting a balance transfer.
Balance transfers usually offer super low to sometimes zero percent interest rates for a fixed number of months. Not only do you save on interest; you can combine all card balances and have yourself only one repayment to make a month.
If you're still unsure, we have a full guide on how it works to help you make a decision.
For Cash Flow Issues: A Quick Loan
Okay, we're not saying all your problems will be solved by taking a loan when you're in a bit of financial trouble. It sounds like bad advice. You could of course opt to dip into savings, if you have any.
But if you don't; what are you to do with RM170.56; kids to feed and petrol to purchase for at least another week before payday?
If you are turning to a loan to solve cash flow problems; we ask you exercise caution. Make sure the situation cannot be solved by simply tightening your belt for a few weeks.
When you've decided that you really cannot survive on the amount in your bank - a fast approval loan may help.
When taking such a loan, do remember that interest rates are higher on fast approval loans. As such, try to take as small an amount as possible and for the shortest duration.
Some banks offer personal loans as low as RM1,000 for 3 months. It's really all you need to plug the gap until you're flushed again.
Again, we remind you to exercise caution with this bit of advice. It is meant to offer you emergency cash - not a second celebration.
For Combination Debt: The Consolidation Loan
So your situation is the most dire. From credit cards to personal loans and a pretty dismal bank balance - you've got it all. What are you to do now?
In such a situation, the multiple repayments will strangle your cash flow in coming weeks - making you only that much more susceptible to needing a loan or to use your credit cards AGAIN.
Fix the problem in one fell swoop with a consolidation loan. Consolidation loans can be personal loans offered by banks or a top-up amount on your mortgage.
Not all banks offer the consolidation option but we've found one for you so no need to go hunting.
If you do have a home loan; taking a top-up loan may be another option. Top-up loans linked to your home loan usually feature lower interest rates and larger sums disbursed because of the collateral attached.
Again, this will depend on the bank with which you have your home loan, so you'll need to pay them a visit.
If your money situation isn't looking as dire as above; there's nothing a hearty dose of budgeting can't fix. Tightening your belt and cutting out the unnecessary could help you survive until the next payday.
You might think there's no real benefit to budgeting when you're pretty much broke but in truth, there's no better time. Budgeting can help you deal with a lean cash flow month - you just have to know how. We've got a guide on budgeting when broke that could help you.
We hope these tips do help you out of a bind if you happened to overspend this Raya. Hey, these things do happen but what's important is getting out of it well enough.