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Unless you happen to have a high-paying job because of your knowledge, talents, skills, and ability to get things done, you’re probably living from paycheck-to-paycheck. This means that anything that interrupts your flow of income, throws all the rest of your finances out of balance.

Usually, one of two things tends to happen. First, you may have an unexpected expense that exceeds the money flowing into your bank account. Perhaps your car may break down on your way to work. Perhaps a pipe bursts in the middle of the night. Or perhaps you have a health problem that requires out-of-pocket expenses. Since these are emergencies, you can’t take care of them when your next paycheck comes in. As a result, you find yourself unable to pay for your daily expenses, let alone any regular bills. The second is that you lose your job and your source of income is suddenly cut off. Your company, for instance, may not be able to meet payroll expenses and will have to let a few people go.

While you can’t control life’s ups and downs, here are four things you can do to manage your money better so that you can ride out these surprise disruptions to your cash flow with equanimity.

1.Learn how to get a quick loan. Even if you have excellent credit and can get a personal loan from your bank, you may not be able to receive the money immediately. Fortunately, there are alternatives to payday lenders who can quickly give you the money you need. MaxLend can give you an installment loan up to $1250. What’s more, eligibility requirements are minimal. All you’ll need to qualify will be a social security number, a current checking account, and a regular job or other verifiable source of income. Funding is almost immediate and repayment flexible.

2.Get into the habit of spending less than you earn. It’s not easy to spend less than you earn and it is easy to spend more than you earn by using credit cards to float the difference. In fact, most people default to spending far more than they bring in because the cost of living is so high. One way to adjust your income is by planning. There are several excellent family budgeting tools available online, many of them free, that will allow you to track your finances, allow you to plan your expenses better, and allow you to build a small savings account to take care of unexpected expenses.

3.Create a second source of income. Reliance on a single source of income can be perilous. One way of avoiding all the hardships that come from the loss of a job is to have another source of income. For instance, if you’re teaching at a university but don’t have tenure and suddenly lose your job, it can be hard to find another comparable job quickly, especially if you’re someone who has acquired a great deal of knowledge and expertise in a highly specialized field like, say, cultural anthropology. Imagine, however, if you had been regularly publishing during your years as a teacher—you would then have a secondary source of income to help you pay your bills until you found another university that was looking for someone with your unusual expertise. There are two ways to create a second form of income. One is to work two different jobs. The other is to develop some form of passive income that helps you earn royalties.

4.Study investing. The way to start as an investor is to set aside 10% of all you earn. During this period when you are steadily tucking money away, you must choose to study a form of investment, preferably learning from someone who is already in the financial market you’re interested in entering.

In the final analysis, the only difference between you and someone with plenty of money is that a wealthy person has taken the time to study the laws of earning, spending, saving, and investing. This is something that you can do as well. There is no shortage of material online and offline to help you learn the basics of money management.