If you’re late on paying bills, you’re not a lone. A lot of people are late either due to financial situations, busy schedules, or simply forgetting.
If you have a hard time due to your financial situation, then you’ve come to the right place.
Today I’m going to give you a plan on how to speed up the process of getting out of debt.
Once you see some hope, it’ll be a really great feeling and you won’t have the stress of being buried.
Remember that even with this plan, you need to take action or it won’t work. Taking action will change your future. Let’s get started!
Catching Up On Bills When You’re Behind
Step #1 – Figure Out Your Income & Expenses
What you need to do is get the numbers right.
See what you made and what you spent last month. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
See what you spent in the main things:
- Payments Towards Debt
Your money spent will be larger than your money earned. Now what we want is to make the gap between income and expenses as close as possible.
Use this: Personal Budget Planner (free)
Step #2 Get a Statement On Your Net Worth
Now you need to calculate your assets and liabilities.
Make sure to be as accurate as possible with these numbers. Also add in your unpaid bills to your liabilities category.
Use this: Net Worth Form (free)
Step #3 Check All Your Debt With a Credit report
So you think you know all the debt you owe but it might not be true. Sometimes if your debts are 6 months or older, they could have been sold to collection agencies.
You really don’t want to skip this step.
The best way to do this is checking with a credit report, and it’s free.
What I use is this website called Credit Sesame. What’s cool is that it let’s you see the debts listed on the credit report. Each of them will have a balance, the interest rate, and payments. This is great because you can easily plug in those numbers into the spreadsheet below.
Use this: Reducing Debt Spreadsheet (free)
Step #4 You Have To Change
If you really can’t pay off all your bills, and you’re limited on time, you can’t really keep this up. Something must change.
The $100 a month entertainment service you have can be canceled. You also can skip out on the $4-5 coffees and $7-8 fast food lunches.
What would you do if you HAD to start spending a lot less than what you actually make?
You may doing something like this:
- Ride a bike or walk instead of paying for transportation. Sell your car if you can live without it for a while.
- Forget the gym membership
- Inexpensive meals that you cook (See our $5 Crockpot Meals)
- Stop watching cable TV & pick up some good reading material
- Stop shopping for clothes unless absolutely necessary
- Negotiate on everything
- Get your cellphone bill lowered
- Get a cheaper phone
What I would do right now is make a list of what you could do to cut expenses.
One thing I personally use is an app called Trim. It’s manages all your subscriptions, giving you the option to cancel them or get money back on past transactions. It also negotiates bills for you too. It’s been featured in the New York Times and according to their data, has saved users over $1 million last month.
You can get it for free here
Step #5 Get Your Priorities Straight
Your top priorities must be your home, utilities, most affordable transportation, and food. These are the things you must pay for.
Just because you are getting calls from collectors, doesn’t mean you can’t pay for these things. You and your family is top priority.
Step #6 Make a Plan For Income
Now that you have a plan for cutting expenses, the next thing is to increase income.
Put yourself in an urgent mindset. Ask yourself what would you do if you had to make $400-500 this month.
It depends on your own situation but here are some examples:
- Start selling things you can live without on Craigslist
- Ask for more hours at your job
- Apply for jobs that pay more
- Get a part time job
- Perform jobs for friends or family
- Read my guide on how to make money fast if you’re short on time.
Another thing to do are online surveys. These are legit companies that will pay you cash for taking surveys.
Here’s the three most reputable companies you can begin with:
- SwagBucks – This is probably the best site from my experience. They’ve paid out over $300,000,000 in rewards to their users. You also get a $5 sign-up bonus.
- MyPoints – They were founded in the nineties and have paid out $236,000,000 so far in rewards.
- SurveyJunkie – There’s over 5 million members and one of the largest survey sites in the world. They have the highest TrustPilot rating (8.9) among all competitor sites.
Step #7 – Talk To Creditors
While the go-to option is to ‘ghost’ on your creditors, it won’t work out in the long term. You’ll have to talk to them eventually.
The best bet is to take the initiative and communicate with them. Don’t just wait for them to call you. Would you rather call them & negotiate, or have their most aggressive people hunt you down via telephone line.
It may surprise you that if you just ask, they could be able to cut your interest rate or get rid of the late fees. You could also get your balance put on hold if possible.
Make sure to adjust your reducing debt spreadsheet for any changes like the ones above.
Step #8 Start Paying Off Debt
Now let’s bring it home.
- The main priority is to pay what’s necessary while doing everything possible to get a side income.
- Start making the minimum payments on your bills
- After that, organize your bill’s balances by balance amount. With whatever money if you have leftover towards the end of the month, you’ll want to put it to the smallest debt. It’s a neat method of paying off debt. You pay one off, then attack the next smallest balance.
This could take some months or a year to do but DO NOT STOP. You’ll be making small wins that contribute to a really big one. After catching up with your bills, increasing income, and cutting expenses, you’ll eventually be debt-free and building up even more wealth than before.