Bills are simply a part of life. The minute you hit adulthood, you are introduced to a barrage of things you need to pay for regularly to get through life comfortably. With the ups and downs that come with the years, you may find yourself struggling to keep up with payments on time.
Set a payment schedule with a reminder system.
It’s easier to have one day to pay all your bills even if they don’t necessarily come in at the same time. It just makes it more manageable and lessens the room for possibly forgetting one crucial payment. Imagine getting everything in order and then realizing you forgot all about the gas bill. It could help you rely on an automated system so that you can have that off your mind since you know everything will be paid for on the dot. That would require you to always have a pool of money for the system to take from and deposit to the various billers you have, but it should make things easier to manage in actually doing the task and remembering the deadlines.
If you’re not automating payments, it’s good to set reminders for yourself, especially if you’re trying to juggle various payments. This is even more important when dealing with big secured debts like your mortgage. Make sure you reach out to your mortgage lender and get a payment scheme that you can keep up with both financially and mentally.
Avoid accruing more debt than you have to.
If you’re already having a hard enough time keeping up with the expenditures that you do have currently, then it’s best not to add any more onto that, especially if it’s with unnecessary expenses. Try to avoid those spending sprees and little splurges to de-stress. You’ll find that you can get rid of your financial stress much more effectively if you start working on largely eliminating those debts that are burdening you now.
Steer clear of extra credit card usage, rash buying, and signing up for any more major things that require recurring billing. You don’t necessarily have to sacrifice much if you budget right. If you make sure that you cut out the big wants for a while, you can avoid scrimping on the needs. Consider whether you really need an item or service before you shell out the money for it, especially if it’s something that will require either a big amount or recurring payments.
Try to consolidate your bills.
This is something to consider if you are not completely drowning in debt, and you need a fresh slate to tackle more efficiently. Consolidation basically means all your high-interest debts will be rolled into one single payment that costs less and is easier to manage. This is a good idea for those who feel overwhelmed in organizing their bill payments and can be done either by transferring all debts to a single card or getting a fixed-rate loan to pay off all debts and pay that back over a specified period.
Some other options are home equity loans and 401(k) loans but are considered more high-risk. If you want to get a lower rate or pay off your debts quickly, this is a step to consider if your finances can accommodate it. This could essentially turn into a situation where you get all your accumulated debts paid off, and now you have to pay around half the amount every month toward the loan.
Set your payment priorities.
A good way to manage your payments is to list everything down and prioritize things by interest rate and importance. While it may be tempting to pay for the small stuff first to get them out of that way, you also have to think about the long-term effects of skipping out on the bigger payments that could be rolling over. For example, you want to pay your big utilities off consistently, even if there’s a spike in the prices. You don’t lose those necessary resources over paying some smaller expenses that will stagnate and can be paid off afterward.
30% of Americans are stressed about money constantly, and a whopping 71% of millennials attribute their financial stress to the fact that they don’t have an emergency fund that can last them for three months. Though we all have varied financial situations and mindsets, these general guidelines should be able to help steer you in the right direction and ease some of that worry when it comes to paying for things and keeping your money in check.