21 May 2014

How to Pay Bills during Financially Hard Times

Unfortunately, the bills don’t stop even if the pay packet does. There is still a financial responsibility to your creditors. If you're facing financially hard times it’s time to sit down and come up with a game plan.

The reality is that there are certain bills that can’t go without being paid. Your family needs a home to live in and the basic comforts like heat, electricity, transportation and a working telephone. These are the bills that warrant getting paid first.

For the telephone, there is no rule that says you need a mobile phone and a landline. Some people use their mobile phone as their only number. This saves on the cost of two telephone services.

What about food? Everyone needs to eat. You can lower your food costs with store sales and shopping in bulk when necessary. Visit the butcher shop and have them cut up your meat to save money. Read the $300 a Month Food Challenge posts in the weekly newsletters. You find them all in the Newsletter Archive on the Cheapskates Club website.

If money is tight, entertainment is often the first to go. You may have to do without cable television or cut back to the basic channels since everything has gone to digital signal. If you want to watch movies, purchase the ones you like when they are on sale. This way you can watch them over and over without paying any additional fees.

When there is nothing else you can cut and money is still stretched too far to meet all the bills, it is probably time to call the creditors. No one wants to do it but you will have a more favorable outcome if you call them before your bills start falling behind. If you have been a good customer who has had on-time payment in the past, they will help you to make your payment in some form without ruining your credit.

For your monthly utility bills, there is a service many of them offer called the Equal Payment Plan. Here, you can enroll in the program that averages your monthly usage and comes up with a payment amount that stays constant. This will help you avoid larger bills in the summer or winter months. A plan like this also makes budgeting limited funds a whole lot easier.

As for any credit card bills, making a payment arrangement won’t adversely affect your standing with them or the credit companies. When you are back on solid financial footing, you can resume your normal payments.

When the economy is down, it affects everyone, but bills are still going to come due. Use the above tips to help you stay afloat in hard times.

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1 comment:

  1. Many credit card providers offer a 10 month interest free period when you transfer the entire balance over to them. Make sure once you have done so you cut up the old one. During this interest free period, go mad putting every available cent on it so that by the time it hits the interest period it is a smaller debt. Do not let your balance grow during this period. Since ive been here before and now find myself again with only one income, i kept the weekly payments going on all utilities and rates. Small weekly payments of $30 dont seem to matter but it covers my entire rates for the year and similar amounts going to gas, water, and a larger one for electricity (gulp) also pay them in full. I may even be in credit at the moment.


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