This happens to almost all of us. You’re doing okay, paying all your bills, all your monthly expenses are up to date, then something unexpected happens, your car broke down, medical expenses come or in my case, having to quit my job – and the next thing you know, you’re behind on your bills.
If this is you, don’t feel bad, this is perfectly normal and this happens to the best of us.
After having to quit my job, being behind on our bills for a month had easily turned into a negative cycle.
Each month, we felt like we were gasping for air, trying to get ahead but with Money being tight, getting ahead or even catching up was just too difficult.
It was probably close to impossible.
And we all know that struggling financially or struggling to get ahead is downright stressful.
It caused us a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of unreasonable arguments and a bucket load of stress.
It may be difficult to pull yourself out of this negative cycle but I’m here to tell you that it is possible!
There is hope and there is always a way out.
I’ve been down that messy road, and sometimes I even still get stuck on that same path but I’ve survived and I’ve managed to pull myself out of that spiral.
If I can do it and others can do it, then you definitely can too! You just have to know where to start and how to keep going.
And to help you out, I have decided to gather 6 Effective Actions to take when you’re Behind on Bills.
Check them out!
List Down all your Bills and Create a Plan
This should be the very first thing that you need to do. This was a serious life-saver for me.
I made a huge mistake in not tracking our spending before but after having to quit my job and knowing that we will be behind on our bills for that month.
I took the time to sit down and I looked at where all our Money was going. I tracked every penny.
It was messy and it sure gave me a headache but it was definitely worth doing!
Making a list of all our bills gave me a clearer sense of all the things that were a necessity, things that we really need to pay for the month and the bills that we can just negotiate.
So, go ahead and grab a pen and paper, list down all your bills (Including the details, the amount due, the due date and such) Decide on what bills to negotiate and what bills to focus on paying.
Looking at the bigger picture will make it so much easier for you to prioritize things and it will give you a much clearer concept of what to do next.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate your bills
After recognizing the fact that you may miss payments on your bills for the month and once you have created a plan on what bills you are going to focus on and what bills to negotiate, it’s time to pick up the phone and call your creditors.
Explain to them what your current situation is, let them know how much you can afford to pay, find options to delay your payment due date and don’t forget, be nice!
Some creditors can easily delay or temporarily postpone your payment due date without charging you any interest for a period of time.
Reevaluate your Bills
Now that you know where every penny of your paycheck is going, it’s time to sit down and reevaluate your bills.
After having a clearer concept of everything that we owed and everything that needed to be paid, I knew that if I wanted to lessen the burden, we had to sacrifice a few things.
And that means cutting off the unnecessary or downsizing the big bills.
We’ve realized that one of the major factors that were burying us in debt was our car, so we took the courage of letting that go.
Selling our car was definitely not easy, but when we looked at how our finances were going, keeping it will only be doing us more harm than good, so it was better to let it go.
Now, I’m not telling you to do the same. What I’m telling you is to look at your situation from a financial perspective and determine what you’re willing to give up to fix the situation sooner.
If giving something up is not an option for you, explore other alternatives, cheaper alternatives, consider downsizing those big bills instead.
Doing these will definitely help you get back on your feet a lot faster!
Create an Effective Budget
When we were behind on our monthly bills, the last thing that I wanted to do was to create a budget.
I was thinking to myself that we were not really making enough money to create a budget. Sounds silly, right?
I then realized that the reason why I was so hesitant to create a budget was that I was too scared to really see how much money we needed to survive for that month.
But I knew that if I wanted to manage our finances more effectively – creating an effective and realistic budget is the best way to go!
Doing this allows you to focus more on the monthly expenses that you have and it allows you to see what areas you can cut back on to save money.
And to help you get started, here are 7 Brilliant Tips that’ll help you create an effective budget. Check it out!
Limit the usage of your Credit Cards
Normally, once we realize that we are behind on bills, the very first thing that we do is to check how much credit we have left.
Sure, it might be a fast and easy fix but if we are not able to pay off the full amount when the next billing cycle comes then you are only putting yourself in a much deeper hole than you were before.
So, as much as possible, limit the usage of your credit cards.
The problem in using Credit Cards is we barely notice how much we are spending until we get to see that dreaded monthly bill.
Since we never really get to see those dollar bills disappear from our wallets, it’s less painful for us and the more we are tempted to splurge.
So, recognize that your goal is to get back on your feet as soon as possible and not to bury yourself in more debt.
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Find options to earn extra cash
Increasing your income is one of the best ways of helping you catch up on your finances and get back on your feet faster.
And there are a lot of ways to earn extra cash! Especially, nowadays, all you need is a laptop and an internet connection and you can easily make money in the comfort of your own home.
To help you get started here’s a list of Work-at-Home Side Hustles that you can start today.
If side hustles are not an option for you, then take the time to look around your house, you will definitely see things lying around that you are no longer using, things that you can easily sell online and make extra cash.
I know that side hustles or even taking a second job may not be ideal for you and it’s definitely not enticing, especially if you are already working a 9-5 draining job but remember that it’s only temporary and it will help you get your finances together quickly.
Getting ahead of your finances may seem impossible to you at this time but I tell you, it’s not. There is a way for you to get out of this. It may be difficult but it’s sure isn’t impossible. You just have to be willing to do the work and make the necessary changes.
And don’t beat yourself up too much for being in this situation. Cut yourself some slack and know that everyone struggles.
What matters is you learn from it, grow and know that you can bounce back.
What about you? Do you have any tips of your own? Let me know in the comment section below or send me an email, I would love to hear from you!