What to Do When You Miss a Salary: Don’t Panic, Read On

When You Miss A Salary, What Should You Do?

It’s that time of the month. You’ve finally got a handle on your budgeting and then the unexpected happens… your salary is late. What should you do when you miss a salary?

If the thought is already sending you into a downward spiral, hold up. Yes, missing a salary is a less than ideal situation, but you need to have an action plan in place before it happens.

Don’t feel like you have to take out a personal loan or grab your credit card. Go through the following steps first to see what makes sense for your individual situation.


Engage in a Little Distraction Activity

When you miss a salary, engage in a little fun activity that will get your mind off the stress. A good example is dancing. No really. If you’re not a dancer (but c’mon we know you can move it move it) choose another little activity that will dissipate any nasty emotions.

When you panic, you might make a knee-jerk reaction you’ll regret. Yes, you need money to survive, but if you do something like yelling at your employer or borrow money with a high-interest loan, you may be dealing with those consequences years down the line.

Instead, take a few deep breaths and try to relax. The goal is to look at your situation objectively. Once you feel more in control, move onto the next step.


Look at Your Bank Accounts

Seeing where you stand financially will help you set a plan. No matter how you feel (you got this!), looking at the numbers gives you an objective picture of what is going on.

  • Look at all your bills (including debt) and see what you owe and their due date
  • Look at how much money you have in your checking and savings accounts

Once you have those numbers,  you can create an emergency budget to get you through the red.


Tap Into Your Emergency Fund

If you have savings set aside for emergencies, now’s the time to use it. That being said, it’s still a good idea to cut your budget down to the bare necessities just in case. When you start receiving your salary again, then you can factor in a line item on your budget to replenish your emergency fund.

For those who don’t have emergency funds, now’s not the time to feel shame around it. Take this as a reminder that an emergency fund is there to help you when times are tough. Once your situation is back to normal and you’re receiving a regular paycheck, consider setting aside money in case an emergency fund happens.

As for how much to aim for, most experts agree that Sh.100,000 is a good amount to strive for. Once you’ve reached that milestone, then aim for more — three to six months of your expenses.


Make Sure The Necessities Are Taken Care Of

Now is the time to focus on the essentials, literally. Right now, your essentials are shelter, food, utilities, and transportation AKA the items you need to ensure you still have a place to live and food on the table. If your last resort is eating at home with your parents for a week, you do what you gotta do.

The last step is essentially to list out all of your bills and debt. Go ahead and include expenses and list them in order of importance. Once you have that, look at your emergency budget to see if you’ve allocated money towards the essentials. If not, adjust your budget accordingly.

Let’s say you have Sh.50,000 in your checking account. Take a good, hard look at what you need to purchase until the next salary comes in.. For example, you tend to buy groceries once a month, but you notice that your pretty well stocked on grocery. Can you get creative and make meals based on what you already have? Or can you buy grocery items to resell them for a profit?


Slash and Burn Unnecessary Items

Remember — this is temporary. Once your paycheck arrives you can get your subscription services back if it makes sense. It sucks to think about giving up on things like Netflix and meal delivery kits. However, cutting back will help provide some relief when money is tight.

If there are services you can suspend or cancel temporarily, great. If canceling them means paying a hefty fine (like many cable subscription packages), see if you can negotiate with the company to see if there’s anything they can do.

Same goes for any necessary expenses. Call up your mortgage provider and explain your situation. Some companies —  though not all — may help provide some relief by allowing you to defer your payments.

A laptop showing an online shopping cart with a box in it and the word 'BUY' next to it. The topic: What to do when you miss a salary
Don’t buy items that you don’t need.

Sell Your Stuff

If cash is really tight, consider selling some of your unwanted items. Go through all your goods to see what you can sell — think baby clothes, designer items, books, CDs and even jewelry. There are plenty of people that will take those items off your hands and pay you cash right away.

You can also consider selling your time and skills, like offering to mow your neighbors’ lawns, walk some dogs, or tutor kids in the evenings. There are tons of ways to put a few extra shillings in your pockets. Get creative and you may be surprised at what you’ll find!

To gain some extra cash, you may also like to check out 14 ways to invest Sh. 10,000. These are things you can do to make some cash that can come in handy when you miss a salary.


Talk to Your Employer

Now’s the time to approach your employer to ask what’s going on and when you can expect to receive your next pay. Don’t be afraid, don’t overthink it; just do it. What’s the worst that could happen? On the bright side, you’ll be updated on what’s going on and it might provide some relief.

If you do miss a salary, remember that it’s not the end of the world. Breathe, try to relax and look at your financial situation objectively. There are solutions. And if you need to ask for help from friends, family or in the form of a loan, so be it.

You’ve got this.

Article by Charlie Santos at https://www.hicharlie.com


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