In your 20's, we all inevitably face an "oh shit" moment when we realize we are struggling, spent too much at the bar last night, lost our wallet in an Uber, etc. I've learned the hard way that there is more assistance out there than you could imagine! Hopefully some of these tips will help you get through a rough patch and find yourself some relief!
1. Do you offer any type of assistance?
This one is pretty basic but will generally provide you with a few options. I recently discovered how terrible my health insurance is when I receive a $500 hospital bill just for getting some blood tests done. Of course, I was a wee bit freaked out and before I tried to rummage through my laundry coins and roll quarters, I called the hospital. I found out that there are a few options for people. 1. They sometimes, depending on how large the bill is they will offer you some discount for paying in one lump sum. 2. There are many levels of poverty, and you may just fall in to one of those categories. I discovered that I was actually eligible for 75% financial assistance! This was life changing. 3. Make sure to ask about payment plans and whether they are interest free! The last thing you need is fees being tacked on.
2. Student/Local Discounts
I recently discovered that anyone who works on my street gets a 10% discount at the coffee shop on the corner. This is their way of attracting the local crowd (who will be the regulars) to come in! Also, for those of you in your lower 20's make sure to always ask about student discounts. Movie theaters, gyms, museums, and even some of your favorite stores (TopShop) offer a student discount! It may not be much, but every penny counts. Remember, they only give you the discount if you ask for it!
3. What can I do for a raise?
Most people are so skittish about asking for a raise. Although asking works well in some instances, I personally think laying out a plan to get to a raise is the most impressive and rewarding way to get there. Sit down with your boss and make it clear you are having money trouble. Don't make it a burden on them or make it a sob story, simply ask them what goals you can lay out for yourself in order to reach a raise or bonus of some sort. 9/10 they are MORE that willing to help you out for your hard work.
4. Half portions
Sometimes it's not always on the menu, but a lot of places will offer half portions around lunch time. So next time you're heading to that place where you never seem to finish your lunch, ask about a half portion! You may end up saving a few bucks!
5. Trade Instead of Buy
This won't typically work in a traditional store, but on all of these new thrift sites, ebay, etc. sometimes you can reach the seller and see if they're interested in a trade! You will have to do a little bit of negotiating for this one but a lot of times you can find something that you don't use anymore to swap out with something new! It's a win-win!
This is rare, but there have been a few times this year where I received 'parking tickets' I wasn't aware of ever getting. There are fake collections agencies out there that solely take information from old parking tickets and reissue new ones to you by sending out a FINAL NOTICE. Whenever we see that stamped on an envelope a park of our hearts sink down to our asses. However, make sure and do your research. Call the firm that is supposedly coming after you for late payment. Check their validity online. You never know, it could be a scam!
Have any tips of your own? Share them in the comments section!