If you’re wondering, “How can I catch up on bills fast?” you’re not alone. Half of Americans today consistently struggle to make their monthly bills on time.
There are many reasons your bills could have gotten out of control, including loss of wages, unexpected emergency expenses, and compiling interest and late fees. But no matter why you’ve fallen behind, there are steps you can take to catch up and achieve greater financial stability.
In this guide, we’ll explain how to get caught up on bills using five best practices.
What Bills to Pay First When Money is Tight
A big part of creating a budget is to examine your expenses and income. It can be difficult to pick and choose which bills to pay if you’ve gotten buried beneath outstanding bills and debts. However, the best way to decide is to separate your expenses into needs and wants. For example, you should prioritize necessities like:
- Rent and mortgage payments
- Food and household essentials
- Gas, car payments, and other work-related expenses
Necessities should always come before wants. For example, a tank of gas that lets you get to work is more important than a streaming subscription or gym membership.
5 Ways to Get Caught Up on Bills Fast
Want to know how to get back on track with bills? Here are five simple steps to start getting a handle on your expenses and saving money on your monthly bills.
1. Get Organized
If you need to know how to get caught up on bills quickly, we recommend creating a complete picture of your income and expenses. If your expenses exceed your income, determine if anything can be cut, such as:
- Subscription services
- Gym memberships
- Takeout expenses
- Cable services
Once you’ve got a better look at your finances and options, it can help to organize your bills, so you know what order to pay them. Add the following information to your list:
- The due date
- Any past-due amount
- Minimum payment amounts
- Total balance
Check if any of your monthly expenses are automatically debited from an account. If you have any automatic withdrawals, determine if the due date is feasible or if it needs to be changed. We recommend you decide whether or not you qualify for any discounts on a service with autopay, such as for your car insurance, cell phone bills, or subscription services.
2. Negotiate With Creditors
If you have bills that have fallen behind or gone to collections, contact these creditors to see if negotiation is possible. Some creditors will split your past-due amounts into manageable payments to avoid additional late fees and interest charges. If an account has fallen into collections, you may be able to pay a smaller lump sum payment to clear the debt.
We also recommend you call your other creditors to see if there is any way to reduce your monthly payments, such as with refinance or extended payment options. Some creditors may even provide you with a brief reprieve. For example, you may be able to extend an auto loan or mortgage by one month, giving yourself extra funds to catch up on other bills.
3. Shop Around
Wondering how to stay on top of your bills going forward? We recommend you take the time to comparison shop. You may be able to get a better deal elsewhere for expenses like:
- Cell phone services
- Cable or internet services
- Auto loans
- Prescription medications
Reducing the total amount of your monthly expenses will make it easier for you to get caught up and stay ahead in the future.
4. Start Earning Extra Income
If you’re wondering how to get caught up on bills quickly when you make less than your monthly expenses, it may be time to start searching for ways to earn extra income. Cutting expenses isn’t always enough. When it’s not, here are a few ways you can boost your income fast:
- Ask for a raise
- Get a second job
- Polish your resume and switch to a better-paying job
- Pick up a side hustle or freelance gig
Additionally, you can look for work opportunities, such as food delivery services, babysitting, or petsitting. Many of these opportunities are easy to get into because platforms are available to help you, such as Rover or Care.com.
5. Sell Items You Don’t Use
If you’re like many Americans, you’ve got a lot of stuff you don’t really need or don’t use. Not only does selling your stuff provide the extra income you can use to get caught up on expenses, but it will also help you declutter your home. Depending on the items you’re selling or the number of things you have to sell, you could:
- Have a garage or yard sale
- Use Facebook Marketplace
- Post items on Craigslist or eBay
- Visit a pawn shop
Get a Personal Loan to Catch Up on Bills Now
No matter the reason you’ve fallen behind on bills, Power Finance Texas can help. Installment loans are a common form of credit that can be used towards monthly expenses, debt consolidation, emergency finances, and more. We’ll help you get back on track with your bills fast through an easy online application, with same-day loan approval available for many applicants.
Apply for a personal loan of up to $1,250 now.