How to Save Yourself from Overdue Bills
Put your hand up if you have battled with overdue bills or bills due NOW and you need to try work out how to get them paid!
There’s little more stressful than multiple bills due or overdue bills, and not being sure if you’ve got the money to pay them. Or simply knowing you haven't.
That was me this month. I had rates to pay, big bills due hubby had racked up at work (ok ok, it was parts for our cars… to fix them, and tools for his job… but still!), events to pay for, doctors appointment fee’s and more.
I was so overwhelmed and anxious about how I would actually be able to pay for it. And admittedly, I’ve STILL got bills overdue (well.. nearly!) right now!
But you see, burying my head in the sand makes nothing any different other than prolonging the stress and having less time to sort it. So I grabbed my shovel, started digging my way out of the deep hole my head had been buried in and worked out where we were at.
And, now? It’s surprising how little stress I’ve had since I worked out that oh it was going to be tight, but it was more than possible. And the ones that weren't possible, were able to be sorted with a phone call or two, or just by waiting a week or two.
Today has been awesome. I will have another tight week, but the last of those stupidly big bills has been paid… and now I can look forward and do smart things like pay the rates early – or at least not just in the week they are due!
Are you in this situation at the moment? I have a heap of ways you can avoid getting in this position again, and I’ll totally share those…. but for today, let’s just take one step and work out what we need to just get current and stay current in the next short while with our current or overdue bills, debts and the like.
The First Steps
- First thing… grab a notepad (or if you are skilled on computers a spreadsheet program can automate it – but make sure you print it out!) and a pen.
- Now, go through your paperwork, your bills, your bank account transactions. and make sure you have all your bills, the date and the amount accessible
Label the top of a page with this week’s date (and next weeks on the next page and so on). Then, put on the list the bills that need to be paid this week. If you pay something weekly (and you don’t have heaps of credit with that account!), keep on paying those AND account for that on this list.
If there are any bills overdue, work out whether these need to be first, or can be further down the list. Things like Netflix which don’t “need” to be paid come much further down the list than say “rent”. If your power is at risk of being cut off, make sure to have a read of this before continuing.
If you are overdue or you won’t pay a bill on time, take a deep breath, suck it up and ring the company. It hurts, it’s scary but it’s less scary than not ringing. Work out a payment plan with them.... Or let them know you are paying, but you’ve had a couple of big bills come in and you’ll be a couple of weeks late – or something like this. Truth is key here and facing it will be the difference between sinking and floating.
Now, go through all your bills this way. Write down all the bills on the week you need to pay WHETHER OR NOT you have enough money that week to pay them. All the bills go on here – the standard weeklies like rent, the monthly power and the yearly insurance that “EEEK – it’s due this week!”. Then remember fuel, groceries and things like expected doctors bills (not the unexpected though for now we are paying what we have to!).
Putting It Into Practice
This is where it gets tough. At the top write the approximate amount you will get in your account that week and then go through and put it where you believe it should go.
Once you’ve paid it, cross it off (just a line, you still want to see the progress you’ve made!) and on the days you get money coming into your account, go and pay the bills you need to pay with that money.
Now? Keep on going. Keep the promises you’ve made to the companies you’ve rung if you needed to, keep on paying a bill at a time, each needed expense. You CAN do this.
Once you've done this, keep going and see if you can find some ways to save on heating your house too.