Staying on top of your bills is one of the greatest financial challenges anyone can face. Falling behind in your bills has grave consequence of costing you in fees and interests regardless of the cause whether you were just too busy to pay them or you don’t have enough money in your bank account. If you consistently fail to be on top of your bills, it can become a mountain of debt. You do not need to panic if you are a victim of any of these. It is possible to take charge of your finances. Below are steps you can follow in order to achieve this.
Start with a Budget
What a budget does is to help you organize your finances. Budget is also regarded as an easy way to plan for your financial security. The first thing to do in your budget is to write down every expense you pay monthly and try to compare this total against the amount you earn monthly. The reason behind you falling behind in your bills can be found if you are spending above what you earn monthly.
By using your budget, you can identify expenses that you can cut back, or even eliminate. Perhaps you have some services on your cable bill that you just don’t use or you are eating out at restaurants three days a week. Scale back what you spend each month so that your income covers your expenses. If you are still finding yourself in a tough financial spot, consider picking up a part-time job or freelance work to help make ends meet.
Time Your Cash Flow
Most people get paid at a particular time of the month. You might fall behind in your bills if you do not get paid or if you do not have enough money in your account on the due date of your bills. What you can do to cover this is to request for a different due date; preferably it should be right after your pay day. The main aim of vendors is to get paid and they would not mind changing the due date for you as long as it guarantees them getting paid. While this approach may not work for every bill, even if you can time a few to hit closer to when you are paid – it can knock down the number of late fees and interest that you may be paying.
Automate Bill Payments
You will be forced to pay your bills on time when you automate your bill payments either by setting it up directly with your bank or with the vendor. This is very useful for you especially when you have a busy schedule or you are prone to forgetting things easily like household chores, then automation is perfect for you.
The best way to do this is to time the payments to be made within a day of receiving your paycheck. This will help to ensure that you have enough money to cover your bills. And, it can help you to better manage the remaining money that you have in your bank account. A word to the wise; be sure to check your bank account on a regular basis to make sure you have enough money.
Pay bills that you cannot automate as soon as possible; like immediately. When you put a bill out of your sight then it will be out of your mind. This is because the chance of forgetting to pay is high and late payment may acquire additional charges. You can set up a reminder on the calendar on your phone or computer provided your funds prevent you from paying immediately.
Another way to go if you can’t pay immediately is to schedule a weekly or monthly appointment for yourself so as to pay your bills. You can easily pick a day and time that you would be less busy and not have much going on with fewer distractions.
Pay what You Owe
If you use bank or store credit cards to pay for groceries, gas, or dining out, get in the habit of paying the balances off in full – every month. Credit card companies are more than willing to accept a minimum payment on your bill, but this practice can wreak havoc on your finances. Not only will you pay a crazy amount of interest, but a little bit of debt will also become a lot before you know it.
There may be times where this is just not an option. If you really have a financial struggle and can’t pay this balance off, be sure to pay at least the minimum amount due on time. If you can pay more – do it.
If you are struggling to stay afloat with your finances, you aren’t alone. We all fall behind on our bills at some point in our lives. Not only falling behind in our bills may be costly, but it can also lead us straight into debt. With careful planning and dedication to staying debt-free, you can take control of your financial future.