Tips on How to Manage Your Bills During Coronavirus Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has rendered a lot of people jobless and led to significant salary reductions for many others. For this reason, managing your bills during these times can be very difficult. So, I’ve taken out some time to arrive at these important tips on how to manage your bills during the coronavirus pandemic.
Although there is no general approach to managing bills during times like this, especially when you have more outstanding months than money, there are still some steps you could take to manage your debts no matter your current financial situation. They are as follows:
Step 1: Make a list of all your bills and create a spending plan
The first thing you should do is to gather all your bills including your rent or mortgage, utilities, medical bills, car payment, student loans, and anything else you have to pay for. While doing that, ensure you make an estimate of how much you or your household will need for necessities like food and medicine.
After making a list of your bills and other necessities, create a spending plan that only takes into account the most necessary and pressing needs, so you can determine how much you need to cover. See if your reduced income still enables you to pay for your basic needs or if you need help.
Step 2: Push costs back where possible
Try and see where you can cut costs and make your money go further. For instance, if food expenses take up a large part of your budget, you can try planning your meals or getting creative in the kitchen to cut some food costs. You may be able to save $100 or more monthly.
Step 3: Seek help
Everyone knows that the circumstances now are beyond the control of most people, and so several companies are offering special programs to people who are currently in need of assistance. Check if the companies you owe are among them, and try to work out a new payment plan with extended due dates or reduced installment payments.
In addition to that, you should also tap into government relief plans. As a way of responding to the economic impacts of the pandemic, the government has set up several relief programs including stimulus payments, paid leave, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), unemployment insurance, other types of relief like relief on student loans for some time without incurring any interest.
You can also contact your state or local government to find out about programs they offer that will give you the chance to pause paying some bills for now.
Step 4: Prioritize further if necessary
If after doing all of the above you still can’t pay everything on time, then try to prioritize further. Put into consideration what would happen if you missed payment for a particular bill, to help you determine which to attend to first. Would your debt result in the collection and a bad credit report? Would your house enter foreclosure? Would you lose your car?
Step 5: Beware of scams
These are desperate times and scammers are everywhere. Be wary of any company or organization that assures you that creditors will overlook your debts, or insists that you make an upfront payment for their help. In other words, make sure you find only help you can trust.
In conclusion, although times are hard now, there might still be a way out of pilled up bills. Start by making a list of your bills and creating a spending plan, then try to cut costs where possible before seeking help.