Which Bills And Expenses Should You Prioritize When You’re Short On Cash?2 min read
You can save a lot of time and money by following this order of payment come due date.
What do you do when you don’t have enough money to cover all your bills? Do you:
1. Pay the most expensive ones first?
2. Prioritize the cheapest ones?
3. Pay the ones that have interest, like credit cards?
4. Prioritize the utilities you’re most dependent on, like phone, internet, and cable?
Believe it or not, it should be all of the above. Sifting through one’s bills come due date may seem counterproductive, but it can help you save a lot of money. How?
While there are bills that may not affect your credit score, missing payments could mean far riskier financial consequences: even the small ones only get harder to settle once they pile up. We highly suggest that you follow this order of priority.
Market and groceries
Man does not ever survive without food. However, it’s hard to set a budget for groceries when you’re working on a tight budget and you’re pinned under several bills. If this is the case, set aside a definite amount for your food expenses and only buy the essentials. Stay away from fast food and luxury items for a while and you’ll be just fine. Also, cooking your own meals can help you maximize your budget, no matter how small it is.
Water is life. And so are electricity, internet, and phone lines. No fridge means spoiled food. Water disruption could be detrimental not only to one’s health but also to relationships. And your whole existence is plugged to the internet. Not only that: reconnection fees and processing for utilities can be fatal and inconvenient. You’d want to avoid that.
Your shelter should come first. By all means, you need to make sure you have a place to come home to after work. Apartment/condominium rental is particularly easy to deal with because you can talk your landlord out of evicting you even if you pay a few days past your due date; if you ask nicely. However, the case is different when you’re making repayments with banks since a little tardiness could mean penalties for you.
Most credit cards offer a 40-60 float period where you can pay your bill without interests. When you miss payment within the said period, you’ll have to pay interest from the first time you used your credit card during that billing cycle. If you don’t want to spend more than what you’d swiped, pay full and pay on time.
British statisticians Michael Blastland and David Spiegelhalter, in their book The Norm Chronicles: Stories and Numbers About Danger, say that every for every 1,000 kilometers a man walks, there is one in 23 million chances he’ll meet a fatal accident. The presence of such uncertainties in life is why every financial advice lists buying insurance as an essential. While you might not incur interest or penalties for late payment of your premium, do keep in mind that some insurance providers might cancel your policy altogether if you delay settlement of your fees for too long. Whenever you’re short on cash, make it a point to contact your insurance provider and negotiate your payment scheme if possible. –Dino Mari Testa