We’ve all been there – totally broke and up against a financial wall. It’s a terrible place to be, but how you respond says a lot about your character and your ability to thrive in the long term. You can despair and end up in debt or you can get creative and replenish your savings.

So what will you do when you’re facing money woes? One or more of these 4 strategies can help you get back on your feet.

Get A Side Gig

We’re living in the era of the gig economy and that means working independently on an often unusual schedule – but it also means that you’re free to work on your terms. If you’re low on cash, consider signing up for TaskRabbit to nab small jobs in your community. You can offer to help people move, clean their house, or mow their lawn, all for a fee.

Another option you might consider is driving for Lyft or Uber. If you already own an approved vehicle, this can be a great way to pick up some extra money, especially if you’re willing to drive during peak times. Don’t buy into their car rental program if you don’t have the right kind of car, though – that can drive you further into debt.

Consider Consulting

Being a consultant is a well-paying job attainable by people at many phases of the career cycle. For example, many choose to become consultants after retiring to earn extra money. This is a great way to bolster your retirement savings, and it allows older individuals to apply the substantial career wisdom accrued over years in the workforce.

If you’re not a seasoned business professional, don’t despair – you aren’t automatically excluded from the consulting world. New Zealand native Sam Ovens made it big in consulting by the time he was 25 years old. He made it work by applying the lessons he’d learned through several failed startups. If you think you’re struggling, imagine taking repeated losses as an entrepreneur. Through resilience, Ovens turned everyday failure into millions in profits.

Trade Penny Stocks

It may seem crazy to try to invest in the stock market if you’re broke, but hear this one out – penny stocks are small investments that can yield big returns if you do your homework. The key is to maintain a diverse portfolio and to read up on the industry. Look for trends and read the blogs. Many big businesses started out as penny stocks, but even if your choices don’t take off, the low investment price means the profit margins are much larger than higher priced investments.

Look For Small Savings

Sometimes when you’re in debt, the best solution is not trying to make more money, but rather trying to cut corners where you can. Evaluate your spending and cut magazine or television subscriptions, look for ways to save on your commute, or look for a cheaper phone plan. You should also check your bank accounts to determine whether you’re paying any unnecessary fees – some accounts charge you money if they drop too low. If that’s the case, work to up those accounts to avoid getting charged for having too little money.

Finally, remember that some of the biggest expenses are those that trade time for money – we pay for convenience. If you choose to order takeout instead of cooking at home, you’re trading your hard earned money for someone else’s time and you’ll still have to wait for the food. Stock up on inexpensive, easy to cook meals and eat at home to stay within your budget and save more.

Just because you’re low on cash right now doesn’t mean you have to be forever. You can find ways to mend the situation, save money, and get back on your feet. If you accept that occasional failures are just the lulls before great achievements, you won’t feel so dismayed when those hard times hit.

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