Create a Plan!
The first step to getting your monthly bills under control is to create a plan. First, list down everyone
and everything you owe, how much you owe them, and the exact amount you’re behind in each. Be
sure to include what the minimum monthly payment is, so you’re able to lay out a clear timeline into
Should there be a company currently hassling you with phone calls, pay them FIRST. Your mental
health is important, and it makes the most sense to pay these parties first. Obviously, everyone’s
situation will range in severity.
Try to File for an Extension
To give you a chance to catch up on bills, ask for an extension. Pick up the phone and tell the
company about your situation. Even if you’ve missed a payment, make contact so that you are able
to discuss terms and come to a mutually beneficial payment plan.
Create Your Budget
Not sure how to get caught up on bills? Google how to start making a budget. That’s the easy part.
Alongside the due and overdue payments, you must include high-priority expenses like home, food,
utilities. If not, your situation will grow exponentially worse. And that’s not the direction you want to
be going in.
Remember to drop unnecessary expenses like gym memberships, Netflix, other platforms, new
clothing, upgraded iPhones. You may not have to cut these expenses entirely as many companies let
you suspend their services until you can pay.
Cut Down on Utilities: Use Water and Energy Responsibly
If you have a water bill to pay, you should save water and do things like turning off the faucet when
you brush your teeth. You can even purchase a low-flow shower head. There are many ways to save
on your monthly water bill – like the Hydro Route Smart Valve. If you are a retail, commercial, or
business owner, or director of an institution or hospital, you should look into alternative ways to save
money on your water bill.
We should all be doing our part for sustainability, conserving energy, and saving water anyway. Cut
down on electricity use. If you have children, keep on them about turning off the lights when they
leave a room. I should say there are quite a number of grown adults who are guilty of this, as well.
Hopefully, you have already converted to LED lighting. Adjust your air conditioning units, accordingly
and don’t let them run all day. In this era of Coronavirus, it’s a good idea to have windows open as
much as possible for proper ventilation.
Live Within Your Means and/or Ask for Help.
During this time, you really need to reevaluate your needs and live within your means. Is moving in
with a friend or family member during a short period of time an option for you, and perhaps you can
sublet out your apartment at a higher rate? With extra rent money, you can put that toward extra
bills. That’s not always an option everyone. However, if you are blessed to have someone who can
‘put up with you’ for a bit, maybe it’s worth asking?
Cut Down on Car Use When Possible
You should also be considering your automotive needs and the car you drive. You could reevaluate
whether your family needs two vehicles?
Public transportation like subways and buses — always an option, as well biking and walking when
you can – even healthier choices to make.
Do Not Use Your Credit Cards!
I call this ‘cutting up your credit cards mentally.’ By all means, if there are old department store ones
that you never use anymore, sure, cancel them and cut them up. In fact, it’s a great idea for most
people to do this. You should do this especially if you’re unexpectedly faced with financial hardship
and stress – or at its worst — the possible foreclosure of your home, which you don’t want, either.
If you’re feeling stressed about money and finding yourself a little bit in hot water, you should not be
making any unnecessary expenditures at all now — especially not on credit!
If you need to hide the actual cards, hide them – or give it to your spouse. Don’t be afraid to ask a
loved one to look after them unless it’s to buy essential items only!!
Be Disciplined and Catch Up on Bills
Be disciplined, mindful, and diligent about how you are spending your money. Start by creating a
payment plan so you can re-pay the most important lenders first and create a realistic budget plan
you’ll stick to. Cut back on unnecessary expenses, confide in loved ones, and hide credit cards if it
helps. And, if possible, find additional avenue streams so it’s quicker to pay everything back
Look for ways to Supplement Your Income
Budgeting and cutting expenses may not be enough in your financial situation. Perhaps you might
want to drive at a rideshare company like Uber, pick up some overtime at your job, or look for some
customer service positions online?
Sometimes you have to hustle, and this is one of those times. Is there something you can do from
home, freelancing, typing, transcription work, virtual assistant? While sadly many businesses have
been suffering during this Coronavirus Pandemic – it is also a great time to network digitally and get
some gig work.
Seek Help From Others When You Can
Again, if you are an impulsive buyer and make expensive purchases without much thought, please
seek the help of a loved one.
Going through this experience can be a very emotionally taxing experience, so confide in your close
Don’t be afraid to talk about your financial issues. There is a good chance they have been in a similar
situation or are able to support you in other ways – or lead you to a professional.