The reality is that there are certain bills that can’t go without being paid. Your family needs a home to live in and the basic comforts like heat, electricity, transportation and a working telephone. These are the bills that warrant getting paid first.
For the telephone, there is no rule that says you need a mobile phone and a landline. Some people use their mobile phone as their only number. This saves on the cost of two telephone services.
What about food? Everyone needs to eat. You can lower your food costs with store sales and shopping in bulk when necessary. Visit the butcher shop and have them cut up your meat to save money. Read the $300 a Month Food Challenge posts in the weekly newsletters. You find them all in the Newsletter Archive on the Cheapskates Club website.
If money is tight, entertainment is often the first to go. You may have to do without cable television or cut back to the basic channels since everything has gone to digital signal. If you want to watch movies, purchase the ones you like when they are on sale. This way you can watch them over and over without paying any additional fees.
When there is nothing else you can cut and money is still stretched too far to meet all the bills, it is probably time to call the creditors. No one wants to do it but you will have a more favorable outcome if you call them before your bills start falling behind. If you have been a good customer who has had on-time payment in the past, they will help you to make your payment in some form without ruining your credit.
For your monthly utility bills, there is a service many of them offer called the Equal Payment Plan. Here, you can enroll in the program that averages your monthly usage and comes up with a payment amount that stays constant. This will help you avoid larger bills in the summer or winter months. A plan like this also makes budgeting limited funds a whole lot easier.
As for any credit card bills, making a payment arrangement won’t adversely affect your standing with them or the credit companies. When you are back on solid financial footing, you can resume your normal payments.
When the economy is down, it affects everyone, but bills are still going to come due. Use the above tips to help you stay afloat in hard times.