Falling behind on bills is not an uncommon problem for a lot of people. Many times it’s the direct result of not having a budget in place. Without a budget, you may even miss a payment without ever realizing it and that now creates other problems. Luckily, there are things within your control that you can do to achieve financial success and avoid any hardships in the future. For the immediate dilemma, you still have several options to secure the funds you need to avoid falling behind.
Taking out a short-term loan
Making the decision to borrow money whether through a family member or a loan, is one that you should not make in haste. But, at the end of the day, if you have no other choice, applying for a loan will let you pay the bills that are due. If you have collateral such as a home and your credit is good, applying for a personal loan through your local bank is a viable option. However, if you’ve missed a payment or two and your credit score is now below what the bank views as good, then you may not be able to get the loan. There is still another option available. A Payday loan alternative provided through various online lenders offers unsecured installment loans to many people with less than an excellent credit score. The condition for approval on these type loans is a bit more friendly. If you have a secure job on the books, have a social security card and a checking account in your name, your chances of getting approved are much better.
Finding ways to come up with the money on your own
Instead of borrowing and creating another debt that you need to repay, you could find other ways to come up with the money. Maybe you have skills you use only at home like fixing appliances or working on cars. There’s a great need for a general auto mechanic and a handy man. Print up some cards and distribute them at local stores, a laundromat and other places you frequent. Or, perhaps you’re good at assisting others and can help the elderly with food shopping and doctors’ appointments. These skills can help you earn extra money each month.
Trimming the fat off your household expenses
No matter how much you remove from a budget, there’s always room to do more. Find out the bills that are really driving up the costs each month. If it’s your cable bill, contact the provider and ask to drop to a lower plan, or better yet, get basic cable services for a few months and rent movies from Red Box or Netflix. The same goes for your cell phone. Do you really need the plan you have or can you scale back and move to a lower one? If your utilities are high start unplugging appliances at night, lowering the heat and raising the air conditioning. You can also take shorter showers and turn the water off while brushing your teeth. There are many ways to cut costs when you need to and avoid taking on a loan.
Learning to budget
Budgeting is something that you get better at with time. When you first start you really focus simply on making sure that you pay every bill on time within the month. As you grow confident and more skilled at it, you begin to find ways to actually have leftover funds at the end of each month. This is the purpose of a budget. Some months will have added expenses for school payments or schedule maintenance on a vehicle. If you leave the additional monies in there when you need the money a few months later it’s there to cover it. Many people make the mistake of using the extra money to go shopping for things they don’t really need and draining the bank account in the process. This is not the way a budget works. In order to stay on top of your bills and remain prepared for an unexpected expense, you need to leave the money alone.
Before borrowing money make sure that it’s absolutely necessary. Check your budget to see if there are ways to acquire it on your own. This way you’ll slowly pay off your debt and reduce your overhead, helping to free up monies to make your life more enjoyable.