Paying your bills on time can be a challenge regardless of the size of your paycheck. Whether your busy day job leaves you in a disorganized mess at home, or you struggle to find the funds each month, below are five helpful tips to keep you in a financially stable position when bills are due.
Borrow Money Thoughtfully
You may be an excellent planner, yet an unexpected cost still manages to catch up unawares. While it is frustrating, it does not have to be the beginning of a downward financial spiral. And it does not mean that you need to go into interest-compounding debt over it either. If you have no additional resources but expenses to pay, consider taking out a no interest loan. The small monetary boost with reasonable repayment terms may be what you need to keep yourself afloat.
Set Up Automatic Payments
Banks make it very easy to pay your bills on time with online bill pay. In one 30-minute session, you should be able to set up automatic recurring payments with every single service provider that you have. To ensure your payments will be successful, time them to occur before the date the bill is due when there will be sufficient funds in your account. A good tip is to map the day that your paycheck arrives and your bills due dates on a calendar.
Use Your Credit Card
This option is ideal for those with credit card incentive programs where you can accumulate points and redeem them for future bill payments. It can also help bridge a two week to one-month long gap in your budget when you know that you will be able to pay the credit card off before the due date. However, paying bills with a credit card may not be the best choice for everyone. If you have a low credit limit, it could hurt your credit score to use this method. Also, if you are not going to have the money to pay off your credit card before interest starts accruing, this will only send you deeper into debt. If your service provider charges a fee to pay with a credit card, opt for online bill pay.
Seek Help Wherever Available
If you are in a dire financial situation, make a list of all your expenses and put a star next to items where you can potentially find financial aid from nonprofits and government entities. These expenses include food, utilities, child care, student loans, and housing. Once you have your list of potential financial aid, prioritize those in the order of largest to smallest payments to focus your efforts in seeking help. You may find that you need to move to a smaller residence and utilize the services of a food bank, but any changes you can make to keep your job and care for your family without going into debt are worthwhile.
Maximize your Bill Paying Time
Written across the top of each bill is a due date. Speak with each service provider to determine their penalty structure. Some services will be willing to extend the time you have to pay. Others may charge an additional fee for late payments. Some businesses are less forgiving and will shut the service off for delinquent payments. Once you know the latest you can extend each repayment without any severely negative consequences, prioritize your outgoings accordingly. It is important to note, pursuing this route will hurt your credit score, but you may be in a place where your only option is to worry about that later.
Beat the bill blues by planning ahead and asking for help when you need it.