So you’ve spent some time away from your hometown and now you’re looking to get back home. Whether you’ve been laid off or feel homesick, here’s some practical advice on how to get home with no money.
One way to get back home with no money is to make that money quickly by getting a temporary job, selling your stuff or getting a loan. Other ways that don’t involve money include asking friends and family for help or negotiating with your creditors.
Here is our 8 tip survival guide on how to get back home even if you don’t have any money right now.
1. Find a Temporary Local Job.
If you’re sure that you’re going to need money to return home, then one way to build up a fund is to start working. In addition, it will help cover your everyday expenses, which will buy you more time.
You may start looking for a temporary job in a company or shop to earn some money. There are many shops that are readily offering temporary jobs, in which you can earn money on a day-to-day basis.
Usually, labor or service-based jobs like waitering are well suited to temporary work. If you’re currently in a rural or farming area, check for seasonal jobs – there are usually things to do all year round (if it’s not the harvesting season, work might still be needed to plant crops and sow seeds for example.)
If you’re in a touristy area, then you’re in luck – hostels, ski fields, and tourist attractions are familiar with hiring travellers that are saving up to move on to their next location. They also don’t mind hiring people for the short term.
2. Get Free Housing to Buy You Time.
If you can’t find a job that pays you money, you can look for work that pays you in-kind. For example, some hostels offer free accommodation or free meals in exchange for the service or work you have done.
While you’re technically not getting any money, you’re buying yourself time to plan your next move – perhaps you can continue to scout for other jobs or continue trying to make contact with friends and family back home.
3. Sell Your Stuff if You Don’t Need Them.
Moving out from your current dwelling can be a daunting task since you need to pack your things and move all your things. The cost and logistics of moving all your stuff can seem like a mountain to climb.
Hiring movers, packing and shipping can be VERY expensive. So the less you have, the cheaper and easier it’s going to be to move home.
Consider selling any furniture or items that you don’t need. This helps you in two ways.
- You have less stuff to move. This makes the move cheaper.
- And more importantly, you can actually raise money fairly quickly by liquidating your stuff. You might get a lot less than what you paid for it, but if you’re desperate to get home then it will well be worth it.
Try talking to your roommates, landlord, neighbors, or a pawn shop about whether they’d like to purchase any of your items.
If you really want to keep your stuff, then you might work out an arrangement with your landlord or friend to keep your stuff in storage, with a promise that you’ll arrange for the stuff to be moved back home when you’re settled into a job back home.
4. Swallow Your Pride. Seek Help if Needed.
It can hurt your pride to ask for help to move back home. However, never underestimate how much people are willing to help a loved one in need. Do not be afraid to seek help from people you think that can help during this time.
You can ask for help from family or friends. Here are some ways that they can help you:
- You can ask them to simply cover the cost of your move. However, this might not sit well with you.
- You could tell them to lend you the money, and you repay them back once you become financially stable when you’re back home.
- If they don’t have cash on hand, they might be able to get a loan on your behalf. For example, they might have better credit, assets that can be used as collateral etc. All these can be used to borrow cash if you’re in a really tight spot.
- Sometimes, your parents
5. Negotiate with Your Creditors.
When we say creditors, we’re referring to anyone that you owe anything to. For example, you might need to give your landlord or employer some notice before you leave. You might even have to pay a penalty if you break any contracts with them.
But not everything is set in stone all the time. In fact, you might be surprised at how much people are willing to budge. You just need to figure out what they really want.
Take your landlord for example. What does he/she want? To have their room rented out so they can earn an income. Well, what if you found their next tenant for them? If someone took over your lease, could they refund your deposit?
Again, this might make you feel uncomfortable. But weigh up this minor pain to the pain of staying in your current circumstances.
6. Sign Up for a Gofundme Account.
Applications such as gofundme will help you during emergencies, which can help you to generate money through crowdsourcing from friends and families, who wish to help you. This works by collecting electronic payments or donations from people by creating a campaign for your needs. For example, you have been robbed in a foreign country and you do not have enough money to buy an airline ticket way back home.
Once you have created the campaign to address your needs, you may now set a goal about how much you need to raise.
Make sure not to use this option if you just lavishly overspent your money and now you can’t afford to book a flight to get home. Remember, you got yourself into that situation; therefore, you must know how to get out from that situation.
7. Get a Personal Loan.
We’re recommending this as a last resort, but it’s one of the few sure fire ways to get money in a tight situation. Personal loans are usually made available to people with poorer credit. The criteria to be eligible is usually easy to meet, and you can get your money very quickly.
However, there is a catch: these loans usually come at a high interest rate. Not paying these lenders back can also hurt your credit in the future. So stay away from personal loans unless you’re absolutely sure that you can pay back the loan asap, or your current situation is so bad that you don’t mind taking the risk.
8. If You’re Abroad, Seek U.S. Embassy and Consulates for Help.
Another way to solve your financial problem when you are abroad is to seek help from your embassy and consulates.
In fact, the Overseas Citizens Services (OCS), one of the divisions of the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs is the one responsible for the welfare of every U.S citizen who travels abroad. You can ask for emergency financial assistance, if you are temporarily destitute abroad.
The agency will help you contact your family, friends, banking institution, and employer to raise funds for you. You may check this site, to check other options if you find yourself in this situation.
On the other hand, you may also apply for a repatriation loan if you meet the following criteria:
- You must be a U.S. citizen
- You must be a destitute
- You will experience hardship if you will not return to United States
- You have no friends or family in the U.S who is willing to support your financial assistance
Once the repatriation loan is approved, the agency will book you a one-way ticket for direct return to the United States. Make sure, you have signed a promissory note that you will repay the loan to the U.S agency within the certain period given.
We know that it can be incredibly scary, frustrating and embarrassing to be stuck in a foreign place and not know how to get home. However, the key to getting back home is to keep a level head – this will allow you to plan your steps to get home, even if you have no money right now.
Have you ever had to be resourceful in order to get back home? Share your experience and tips with us in the comments below!