The Federal Reserve recently estimated that nearly half of US households are unable to pay their credit card bills in full each month, and owe an average of more than $15,000, spread across an average of four credit cards.* GreenPath is sharing four tips to help you get your bills paid on time.
1. Make a list. Create a master list of your bills, when they are due and the monthly amount. You will need to refer to this list, when you are actually paying the bills. If the bill is automatically deducted from your account, you will want to note that as well.
2. Put it on the calendar. Schedule a time for yourself to pay your bills. It will never to be easier to pay your bills than on the day you get paid. If you are generally the type to pay bills on their due date, this is a break from your routine. If you are paid twice a month, you will pay bills twice a month. Likewise, if you are paid weekly, you will pay your bills weekly.
3. Create a paycheck plan. This is probably the most critical part and where people run into the most trouble. You may notice that more of your bills are due at one time of the month over another. You may need to pay most bills on one check and very few on another. This is critical information. If your cell phone, car payment and rent payment are all due on the first, you may need to pay your car note and cell phone early, so that you only have to cover your rent on the next check.
Once you have this down, bills can go into “cruise control”. For example, you may get into a routine where you always pay certain bills with your first check of the month and the other bills with your second check. There is no more guessing and it becomes routine.
4. Ask for your due date to be changed, if needed. If you do not have the ability to pay bills early, the other option is to call and ask for due dates to be changed. Also, understand which bills have a grace period (common with auto loans and mortgages). Many companies will change their due dates, including many credit card companies, student loan servicers, or utility companies.
*(SOURCE: http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneybuilder/2016/12/30/ this-week-in-credit-card-news-best-way-to-pay-off-credit-card-debtconcerns-about-mobile-wallets/#5cba800e546d)
Struggling to pay your debt? Looking for budgeting or financial advice?
Call GreenPath Financial Services – a partner of Members 1st Federal Credit Union.
(877) 337-3399 or greenpathref.com