Paying bills is fact of life and sometimes depending on different circumstances, it can be very difficult to meet your repayment obligations. If you are finding it difficult to pay your bills, there are numerous things you can do. If you are in dire need of assistance, take advantage of the different grants and benefits available through the government and non-profits. Low Income Financial Help is a great resource which quickly outlines financial options available at a State and Federal level.
If your situation is less pressing, below are some great tips on how to help reduce costs, allowing you to get on top of your bills a bit easier.
Rent: Rent is almost always one of the bigger family expenses. Whether you live in an apartment or a house, you’ll likely spend at least twice as much on your rent than any of your other bills. There are a few ways to reduce your rent payments. The first is a possible negotiation with your landlords, trade labor for a rent reduction; extend terms/lease – If you’re a great tenant, they won’t want to let you go. Moving is always another option, look for a smaller place or different location.
If you own a home, you could consider refinancing your loan. This can provide some relief with your monthly repayments and when your financial situation changes, you can always apply more towards your principal to help pay off the loan quicker.
Car: The best way to lower your car payment is to get rid of your car – if possible. Public transport can be a cheaper alternative to the ongoing costs of a vehicle. If however you have to have a car, get one that is cheap to run and has a good reputation for reliability. A cheap car which constantly has maintenance issues will just continue to cost you money.
Utilities: You can save several hundred dollars a year on your utility bills by making small changes around your home. For example: investing in energy efficient appliance and light bulbs, shutting off lights when you leave the room, unplugging televisions, radios and gaming systems when they aren’t in use and running your dishwasher and laundry during off peak hours.
If you’re up for a little effort, save on your water bill by collecting rainwater in tanks and use it to water your lawn and plants.
In addition, talk to your gas and electric company about having your home inspected for other easy ways to lower your monthly bills.
Food: There are so many ways to save money when it comes to food. Eating in more, buying in bulk, couponing, packing a lunch.
Entertainment: You don’t have to always sacrifice lifestyle to save money. There are numerous activities you can do which are low cost or free. Get outdoors and enjoy the beach, mountains or whatever type of environment you live in. Checks with your local community center to see what type of free events are on.
Make saving money on your bills a priority and it will become second nature. When you challenge yourself to see how much you can save each month, it becomes less of a chore and can reduce financial stress. Being in control of your finances is a great feeling and anyone can do it.