Friday, September 18, 2015

Dealing with unexpected bills

Doesn't life seem so perfect right now? You are starting to manage your money and debt responsibly. You are able to put some money into savings bit by bit. Then suddenly, you go to your mailbox to find a bill in the mail that you were not planning on dealing with. Bummer! Perhaps it's from delivering a child, a forgotten past debt, or perhaps a billing mistake. Whichever it may, it is never something you want to deal with. But more than likely you will deal with something like this at least one time in your life.

So, what do you do? Do you put it aside and just ignore it? Never. That is the number one thing that you should never do. You are an adult that takes responsibility. You will first want to call about the bill to make sure that it is not a mistake on their part. Every so often billing mistakes will happen so instead of just paying for something you got in the mail, be sure you are even responsible for that bill. The last thing you want to do is pay  on a bill for months when you didn't have to.

You have now called about the bill. It turns out to be a legit debt that must be payed on. Now what? You will need to recalculate your budget. This is the hard part. You seemed to just be getting by and now you have to cram in another monthly payment. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when recalculating your budget: Do I splurge on unnecessary items each month? Do I need to cut back on my grocery budget? Do I need a second job? Usually if you are able to cut back on a few items each month you won't have to get a second job. But that will also depend on the amount of the bill and monthly payment. Maybe try to pack a lunch instead of eating out. Try a meal plan each week. Meals plans have saved me so much money on my groceries.

The last thing to remember is to stay calm! This is so hard to do but it is very necessary. I know the first thing you want to do is freak out and say, "I can't afford this! What should I do!?" Just take it one step at a time and remember that you can get through this. Money may get tight but try not to lose hope. Many people deal with unexpected bills on a daily basis. Make a plan and push through it. It can be done!

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