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The bill came in, and you couldn’t believe your eyes. The figure was much higher than you expected, and the deadline is going to have you choose between buying food and going into debt. You lost your job. The rent increased. You split up with your partner, so now you’re moving and readjusting to life as a single person (with a single person’s budget). There are many reasons why we can wind up struggling financially, but all of them can feel like the end of the world.

Money is one the biggest sources of personal stress, and it’s even more challenging when you simply can’t earn enough or make ends meet. But this period will not last forever, no matter how difficult it is right now. To help you get over this hurdle, here are some suggestions to recover financially with minimal damages. You can refinance your loans to meet your new budget, helping you save more now and make the most of your income later.

Refinance Your Student Loans

The last thing you need is to wind up missing payments and defaulting. If you know that you’ll have less money to work with, you need to lower your monthly dues ASAP. Rather than a one-time extension, look to refinance student loans for long-term stability. Refinancing helps you lower your interest rate, pay off your debt faster and ensure you’ll always be able to stay on top of your bills. Flexible payment options can help you save hundreds a month without falling behind.

Get Creative to Save Money on Household Supplies

Instead of wasting money each week on paper towels, use some reusable cleaning rags to wash the counters and wipe up spills. They’re washable, reusable, and can be made from old towels or t-shirts that would have wound up in the trash anyway. You can also make your own glass cleaner by combining 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 tablespoon of dish soap into a spray bottle. This is an effective, streak-free cleaning solution that will leave your mirrors and windows sparkling without having to buy name-brand cleaners. When it comes to cooking, opt for one-pot recipes whenever you can. This reduces how much soap you’ll use and how often you’ll need to run the dishwasher.

Save What You Can

If you have an extra $10 at the end of the month, keep it. If you really need that $5 pick-me-up from Starbucks, make sure the leftover $5 goes straight into your savings account. You will have to build from what you have, which isn’t always what you need to make rapid progress. But Rome wasn’t built in a day either, and there’s nothing wrong with saving small amounts. They might not match what you used to put away, but they’ll still put you one step closer toward financial stability.

Start Having Nights In

You might be wondering if budgeting allows for fun and the answer is yes, it just looks different. Rather than grab a bite to eat with your friends, invite everyone over for a potluck. Watch movies, play board games, or just sit and chat for a while. There are plenty of ways to have fun with the people you love without spending money. If you’re comfortable letting people know your financial situation, be honest about why you want to scale down on outings for a bit. If not, then you can just tell them you’re tired and would prefer a low-key catch-up over a night on the town.

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