Money is one of the biggest stressors in existence. And a lack of it plus bills, is a bad combination. However, if you have gotten behind on your bills, do know that you can get back on your feet!
The most important thing in managing your money is your beliefs around money. If you believe money is scarce it will be, if you believe that you have to work hard to get little – that will be the case. Our beliefs around money usually come from our parents and watching how they cope with their money. Break free from the debt barrier by adjusting your thoughts, beliefs and attitude around money. You’ll feel better & see a difference.
Now here are some action steps you can take to move forward once you feel good about money:
1) First, make a list of all your bills. Take note of who the creditors are and how much you owe monthly as well as how behind you are. A lot of times, people paint an uglier picture in their heads compared to the reality. Perhaps you’re only $1000 behind on monthly payments as opposed to $5000.
2) Second, as you’re going through your bills, prioritize them. Your rent/mortgage should be placed first as that is your shelter.
3) Third, cancel any extras that are adding to your bills. For instance, do you really need the premium package for TV? Do you really need to be paying for 1500 minutes on your phone when you only use 500? If you’re a two car family, should you switch over to one?
4) Fourth, determine how much extra money you have available to catch up with. This means using the money from the canceled services, temporarily stopping eating out and going to the movies, and maybe even getting a side business or job to bring in a few extra bucks. Whatever you have extra, start tackling the payments down.
5) Fifth, look to see if you can shop around for cheaper rates? You’re going to still have to payoff your existing bills, but can you pay less elsewhere? Can you pay less for car insurance? Can you refinance your car?
6) Sixth, call your creditors. Contrary to belief, creditors are willing to help you. As long as they’re kept in the loop with what’s going on, many allow extensions, cancel late fees, and even offer payment plans. Some even take note of your financial situation and can offer special low income programs and payment reductions. There’s a lot they can do to help if you communicate with them.
7) Seventh, once you’ve gotten caught up…begin saving money. There are many different ways to save…but here’s a fun little one I found online, where by the end of 52 weeks, you’ve saved $1378…