People often come to us for counseling when they are facing a financial crisis. How does one make it through a crunch when there are so many bills to pay?
We say to make keeping a roof over your head your top priority. Prioritize the rent or house payment first and foremost. Any unpaid bill that can get you evicted or land you in foreclosure is your first bill to pay every month. In addition to keeping a roof over your head make a priority to keep your transportation, food, and utility bills first in your list every other bill goes under the line.
After you took care of your family and you’ve cover your four walls, focus on preserving your income. We recommend trading in an expensive vehicle for something affordable that you can own outright, but in the short term, keep the ability to get to work and earn an income if you can purchase your vehicle on cash way better an unexpensive reliable vehicle.
Another example is your cell phone. For many people, we might advise canceling an expensive cell phone plan and living with a cheaper on monthly unexpensive basis payment phone. Each monthly expense should be weighed against these criteria first, before any other factors are considered.
Remember after you’ve paid the bills that ensure you will have a place to live and a way to continue to earn a paycheck, then you’ll want to prioritize the remaining debts based on a plan. Create a written budget and focus on eliminating debt systematically. We often recommend paying everything the minimum payment and putting anything extra toward the debt with the highest interest rate. When that debt is paid off, start paying the next highest, and so on. Read more about the “Debt Snowball” method for more info on how this might work.
Remember, you don’t have to go it alone. Contact us for a FREE confidential credit counseling and debt advice session. Let us help you put together a budget to get through your financial crisis and knock out your debts.