WHAT TO DO WHEN THE BILLS PILE UP OR YOU FEEL OUT OF CONTROL FINANCIALLY
Keeping the financials of a low or single income family household in check can be hard and it never seems to end. If you feel like the bills have piled up so much that you cannot cope, here are some tips that may help.
Consider contacting a Financial Counselor or Budget Advisor for further assistance. These people are trained to help you get back in control of your money and can teach you how to stay in control in the future.
Identify WHO you owe money to and how much you owe: Make a list of all the bills. Go through the list and place a star next to the bills you consider to be urgent. (Eg. if you are being sent reminder letters for the gas or power bills, then these would be urgent – you don’t want your utilities to be disconnected).
Go through the list again and mark the bills you will be able to pay by the due date.
Contact the companies or people related to the bills that you cannot afford and negotiate a payment plan which allows you to pay small amounts off the bill over a period of time. Always have a realistic payment plan worked out before you call so that you know how much you can afford.
Remember that you will still be getting your regular bills while you are trying to pay off the old ones so make sure that you commit to a payment plan that you can keep up with.
Making an attempt to pay small amounts off overdue accounts will demonstrate that you are trying to pay off the debt. This may make your household budget very tight for a period of time, however you will eventually pay back all of your bills which will make you feel much better.
When bills pile up work out how much you can afford to pay. Firstly, sit down and spend some time working out how much money you realistically need to survive each week. Write down how much you get paid each week and subtract the amount you need to survive. This will leave you with the amount that you can start to use to pay the backlog of bills.