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June 8, 2017

Positive Money Management: Avoiding the cycle of missed bills.


Developing positive money management and financial habits

 

When under financial distress or overwhelmed with life events, bills can often be forgotten, creating additional financial trouble.  When you fall behind, you may not only incur late fees, but also interest rates on borrowed debts could rise, resulting in higher balances and more expensive debts. Credit scores are also negatively affected when you fall behind which could limit future borrowing opportunities.

Making sure your bills are paid on time is essential for your financial well-being.  By taking steps to be proactive, forgotten bills can be prevented.  Begin developing positive money management and bill paying habits by taking the following steps:

1.) Organize

You want to make sure you know every bill that needs to go out each month. Make a list of all of the bills along with their due dates, and then organize the bills by their due date. If you receive your bills in the mail, create a folder where you can store them. If you bills are digital, consider storing them in a file on your computer.

2.) Adjust your due dates

If all your bills are due around the same time every month, it could result in money becoming very tight. Some companies, such as student loan providers and credit card companies may be flexible changing the dates your bills are due. Reach out to your lenders to inquire about changing your due date. You can try to coordinate the dates with when you get paid.

3.) Schedule

Designate particular dates of each month that you will pay your bills. It can be helpful to coordinate your payment dates with the dates that you get paid. For example, if you get paid biweekly, you can schedule to pay certain bills in the beginning of the month and others toward the end of the month. Mark your calendar or set reminders on your phone with set specific dates each month and designate time to pay your bills.

4.) Automatic Payments

By setting up your payments to process automatically, you can be sure that your bills are getting paid on time every month. If you do choose this method, it is important to make sure to monitor your bank account to make sure the funds are available.

5.) Do not ignore your bills

If you find yourself ignoring your bills and not opening your mail, it is probably time to seek out help. It is important to confront the situation before things escalate and additional debt accumulates with late payments. Our certified credit counselors can help you through the process and ensure you have a plan of action to overcome your situation.

 

Laren Lovett new smallLauren Lovett has been with Navicore Solutions for six years serving as a Certified Credit Counselor and Grant Writer.  While in these roles, she has witnessed the positive impact that the organization’s counseling services has on improving the money management skills and economic security of individuals and families in need.