Approximately 340 million Americans have some amount of debt. In other words, almost 99% of the country is indebted to someone.
Needless to say, you are not alone. Look around the room, and there are plenty of people just like you struggling to make ends meet. The thing is, it’s incredibly difficult to shirk debt when you have a lot of overdue bills.
Overdue bills don’t just suck because they include hefty late fees. Rather, because you still have to pay next month’s bills too–on top of the rest of your expenses.
We are here to help. Read on as we discuss all the different ways you can improve your money management and handle overdue bills.
Cut Your Luxuries to Handle Overdue Bills
Yeah, it’s no fun to reduce indulgent spending. But if you want to get any headway with your debt and current bill payment, you need to get a rein on unnecessary purchases.
For starters, cancel all of your subscriptions. That means your streaming subscriptions, your music subscriptions, and anything else you don’t strictly need. There are free alternatives to all of these, even if they aren’t that convenient.
Reduce spending with online retailers as well. Amazon can be quite tempting with one-day delivery, but you have to learn to do without.
Cut Food Spending
The same goes for eating out on weekends or paying for food delivery. Learning how to cook not only saves you money, it’s fun. And even if it isn’t, it teaches you valuable life skills.
We are not saying that you have to cut off these things forever. Just trim them down until you no longer have overdue bills. Of course, you can always splurge here or there when a few extra dollars appear.
Even better, keep these expenses to a minimum until you have paid off all your debt. Many people discover that they much rather prefer being frugal. It makes life simpler, and you get used to it as time goes by.
Be Judicious with Credit Card Payments
Credit cards are great to have if you know how to use them. Ideally, you should never spend any interest on your credit card except in emergencies. You only purchase things that you 100% can afford, and nothing else.
Now, it is important to use your credit cards. After all, this is one of the best ways to build a strong credit score. But you really need to control any tendency to buy things you don’t have money for.
If at all possible, avoid cards that give you high spending limits. You can even hand the card over to a significant other to keep yourself from using it.
Make all of your credit card payments on time, and pay off your credit card debt. Overdue credit cards can drag you down for years. So handle it now, and that will make your monthly bills easier to manage.
Focus on Paying Critical Bills
Unfortunately, you may have to spend a few months or years playing catch-up. This can be stressful because incoming bills will be collecting late payments before you can pay off existing bills.
We highly recommend that you create an order of priority. Pay off the bills that you absolutely need to. Specifically, the ones that will keep a roof over your head and the lights on.
You can use helpful tools as you pay your bills. For example, pagarlabill.com. These tools even work in other languages, such as Spanish.
Work out a Deal with Your Lenders and Creditors
You likely have loans that you have to pay off on top of overdue bills. If that’s the case, then it can be crushing to pay off your loans at the same time as your bills.
You might be surprised by what sort of deals you can strike up with lending agencies. Many of them will give at least a tiny bit of leeway to their debtors.
If this is your first time with overdue bills, they may extend your deadline. In some rare cases, they may even be willing to slash a couple of late fees. This is highly dependent on the company, though, so don’t expect goodwill everywhere you go.
If they aren’t willing to extend deadlines or remove late fees, they can arrange something with you. For example, paying out your outstanding debt over a longer period with interest. While this may not be the most appetizing idea, it’s much better than being drowned in debt.
If this looks to be a years-long struggle with finances, consider downsizing. You may have a home, car, or other assets that are more than you need. The best solution may be to sell them and buy something cheaper.
You would be surprised by how common these practices are. Many Americans, to save on property taxes and mortgage payments, are moving to smaller homes. If you really want to save, then you could even consider going back to renting an apartment.
Perhaps you bought a really nice vehicle back in your single days. You could sell that vehicle for a considerable chunk of change and then buy something more affordable. Trust us, many people will be doing this just like you.
Improve Your Money Management
Overdue bills are one of the biggest killers when it comes to outstanding debt for most Americans. Like with credit card payments, they can quickly overwhelm you if you’re not careful. Use the above tips as you try to tame your overdue bills.
Follow our blog for more helpful tips on how to manage your finances.