Most of the budgeting and personal finance tips you read assume one thing; that you are able to pay your bills. Unfortunately, for a growing number of Americans that is not true. There are far more people who are broke an hour after receiving their paycheck than there are people who can sock away cash at leisure. Here are a few tips for those broke Americans who drive the economy.
Start by avoiding any immediate disasters. If you are short on your rent and have several other bills due at the same time, get on the phone. Talk to your landlord about paying half of the rent now and the rest in two weeks. Call you cable company and credit card companies if need be. The point is to call and talk to people. You may get turned down, but you will never know if you do not call.
Prioritize your bills. What has to be paid now and what can be put off? Write all of your bills and due dates down. Once you see them written out, you may need to go back to the first tip. Also, you may need to turn something off for a short while. Maybe no cable for two months or something along those lines.
Unfortunately, you may have to stop trying to save money until your bills are caught up. You may even have to drain your savings account to stay afloat.
Now, start getting quotes from other service providers. Call cable, insurance, and utility providers to get the best possible deal. Bare-bones is the rule for a while.
You may have to consider a second job. Even if you have to ask ”Do you want fries with that?” for a short time, you will eventually climb out from under that stack of bills.
After you have gotten back to the point of paying everything on time, search the internet for a budget tool that you feel comfortable with. Humans are visual creatures. Having a budget that you can see will help you stick to it and understand where some wasted money may be hiding. While you are doing all of this, you have to remember that you are not alone. There are a lot of broke Americans treading financial water, just wishing they could become debt free.