Which bills do I pay first or delay for later when money is tight?
Everyone gets excited for payday; that is until all your money disappears from paying your monthly bills. Depending on when you get paid and when things are owed, you might feel strapped for cash one week as opposed to the next. So what can you do to alleviate this financial pressure? Prioritize your payments. Here are some good rules to follow when figuring out which bills to pay first:
1. Food, medicine, and childcare always come first. Always make paying for groceries, medicine/medical bills, and childcare your top priority. You can keep your grocery balance down by clipping coupons and shopping for off-brand products. Pre-plan your meals for the week so you don't buy foods that are just going to sit in your fridge for a month. If you have an HSA (Health Savings Account), make sure you pay for all your medicines and medical bills with that.
2. Your rent and mortgage. Keep up to date on your rent or mortgage payments. Failing to due so could result in eviction or loss of your home. Making these payments consistently also keeps you in good standing with the rental office or loan company.
3. Car payments. If you need to drive to get to work, making your car and insurance payments is crucial. Also think about refinancing your car to reduce your payments and rate!
4. Utilities. Water, heat, and electric are hard to do without. But do you really need to have cable or the most updated cell phone? Think about the utilities you do need and what you can do without. You'd be surprised at how much money you can save without having a cable bill.
5. Credit cards. Digging ourselves out of credit card debt is easier said than done. If you can't afford to make your monthly payments, contact your credit card company and discuss ways to consolidate or make a plan for payments.
At Telhio Credit Union, your financial needs are our top priority. Learn more about our checking accounts, mortgage and auto loans, and credit cards by visiting telhio.org.