Maybe you accidentally blew your budget this month. Maybe your car broke down again. You got stuck paying last-minute repairs. No matter what happened, you’re unable to pay your bills this month. Before you accept your fate as sealed, take some key steps to save your wallet.
If you’re struggling financially, you’re not alone. In the United Kingdom, 4 out of every 10 people struggle to make ends meet every month. The key is to take some action before it’s not too late. There’s always something you can do to make the situation easier on your finances, though you have to act fast. If you can’t pay your bills, take these 5 steps below.
1. Start with the Essentials
There are some things that matter more than others. You need food to eat, a place to sleep, and a way to get to work. Your credit card payment is important, yes, but it’s not as important as making sure your lights still turn on every night. Pay for your essentials first.
Take this time to evaluate your living situation. Do you have any nearby family you could move in with to save money? Could you downsize? Are you eating out too frequently? Having these essentials secure will free your mind to worry about other aspects of your finances.
2. Make Some Calls
Next, you’ll want to start making some calls. Believe it or not, your utility providers and credit card companies want to work with you. Think about it, they want their money. If they work with you, they get paid at the end of the day. If you’re not sure you can make your minimum payment until next week, give the company a call. If your account is in good standing, odds are they’ll be willing to work with you.
Many companies also have systems in place for situations like this. Your mortgage lender, for instance, likely has options for repayment assistance if you’re unable to make your minimum payments every month. Talk to them first before failing to make a payment. This is the best way to protect your credit.
3. Get Financial Help
There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it. We all sometimes run into trouble and need to take a loan or ask for help to make ends meet. A service like BingoLoans might be all you need to get back on your own two feet between paychecks.
However, it’s a good idea to go easy on short-term loans and credit. While they can be great when used responsibly, you need to ensure you aren’t falling into another trap of spending more than you can afford.
4. Track Your Spending
Now that you have an immediate plan for managing your payments, for the time being, it’s time to stop this from happening again. First thing’s first, you need to track your spending. Use an application like Mint or another money tracking app to make sure you’re mindful of your spending.
The right money saving comes from smart habits. Odds are you don’t even realize how often you swipe your card for small things like cups of coffee or new clothes. Once you become more mindful of these small transactions, the easier it will be to stop them in the first place.
5. Cut Costs
Finally, it’s time to cut costs. If you ran out of money this month, you’re living beyond your means. You either find a new way to bring in more cash each month, or you cut your costs altogether. While it’s always a good idea to look for new ways to make more money, we can all afford to trim our monthly budgets.
Are you subscribed to more services than you need? Do you overspend on food? These things that might seem small are money that could be put towards your emergency fund or savings. Start by writing down everything you pay for regularly. Where can you cut costs?
As you can see, you have options if you find yourself without a way to pay for your bills this month. Don’t allow your worry to keep you from taking action. The sooner you kick your budgeting into high gear, the more options you’ll have to save your credit.