Whether you live in an apartment or you own your house, you will always have to pay the bills. That’s the fact of life. Like what many say, there’s one thing we all have to do sooner or later, that is, pay bills.
From utility bills to your Netflix subscription, you will have to pay for such services each and every month.
Although that is okay, in life, there are always going to be some things that you will not have anticipated.
Situations such as emergencies, sudden medical procedures that will happen, or repairs that should be made, are just some of the things that will require money.
In the event that you face with these situations and you don’t have enough money, chances are you may not be able to pay all your bills on time.
When that happens, what are you going to do?
9 Crucial Steps When You Can’t Pay Your Bills
Believe it or not, there are simple and actionable things you can do to better or even get out of that bad situation. Read on to find out?
1. Prioritize all of your bills
Now, you might have a lot of bills that you need to pay in a given month, but there is only a handful of them that you truly need to survive.
Create a list of every subscription and every service that bills you on a monthly basis. I do have to stress that you put all of them in the paper so that you will know what you’re paying for.
After this is done, prioritize only the essentials – the bills that you really need to pay in order to get by. This will include utility bills such as electricity and water, mortgage payments, credit card payments, and so on.
If you’re really tight on the money, maybe it is time to ditch those secondary bills like your Netflix or Hulu subscriptions, at least, for now.
2. Strive to earn an extra buck
Since you’re in a tight financial situation, maybe it is time for you to earn some extra cash. There are plenty of ways you can do this.
Take an inventory of the things that you have. There might be some things that you do not use anymore that you can sell.
Furthermore, you can take on an additional job or some odd jobs. Freelancing has become a nice way to earn extra money on the side while you’re working on your main job.
3. Time to budget
If the reason why you do not have money to pay your bills is that of your lack of budgeting skills, then, you might need to learn it.
Budgeting is easy and that it addresses a critical issue – knowing where your money is headed. You see, time and time again, we spend money on things that we might not need in the first place.
When you budget, make sure to include all of your essentials like monthly bills, food, and something extra for your emergency fund.
Of course, a budget should also be a bit flexible so that you can include some leisurely expenses as well – just make sure it doesn’t take up a huge chunk of your monthly income.
4. Talk and negotiate
If you took a cash advance or other type of loans before and there’s an instance that you’re unable to pay them at this time, it is best that you let your creditors know.
Money is essential as it is a tool for trade and creditors know that people can have a huge financial burden from time to time.
Let them know exactly the situation you’re in at the moment and promise them that you will pay in time.
5. Time to Educate Yourself
When you do not know how to handle some cash, you will always find yourself in need of some more even if you do not have the means to pay.
Financial literacy is often an overlooked subject, but it is something that should be taught to everyone.
If you constantly find yourself losing money more than you earn, then you might need to take some financial literacy courses.
6. Do not live beyond your means
I get it, some people just want to live their lives as lavishly as they could.
Although there isn’t anything wrong with the idea, it only becomes wrong when you cannot pay for it and that you cannot sustain the lifestyle.
If your lifestyle involves so much cash that you run out before the month is over, I suggest you start going back to the basics and meet your needs and not the wants.
7. Be careful when employing debt management services
When you do not know how to effectively pay your debts, you could employ the help of debt management agencies.
These agencies are pros when it comes to handling debts and although they are quite useful, you still have to be very careful.
You see, their intention might be to help you solve your debts, but they might charge excessive fees, which could bury you in more debt in the process.
If you’re using a debt management plan and you’re having an agency help you, be sure to read the fine print so that you can avoid potential scams.
8. Be thrifty
Being thrifty and saving some cash can truly change how you use money.
When you’re so accustomed to spending money without any limit, you’re psychologically priming yourself to lose money as fast as you earn it.
Saving some money and delaying gratification teach you the fact that money is precious and that you should only spend it on things that you actually need.
9. Develop better spending habits
And lastly, develop better spending habits. I’ve outlined and said it a couple of times in this article, but it couldn’t be stated enough.
Learning to be thrifty, saving more money, and even earning some more in the process help become a money manager of yourself. Therefore, you’re going to be more responsible in the future.
We all have bills that we need to pay for in any given month. In the event that you are unable to pay them because of sudden emergencies, do not worry, there are plenty of options you can do to help you get by.
Allan Liwanag is a personal finance blogger who paid off at least $40K debt in 3 years by adopting simple and extreme saving techniques while ensuring his family’s needs were taken care of. An analyst by day and dedicated blogger by night, he loves to share his thoughts – based on his research, personal knowledge, and experience – on topics related to family, life, and money. Allan lives with his family in Maryland, USA.