Why Can't You Ever Make On-Time Payments?
How frustrating is it to pay all of your bills each month when you finally get a minute to sit down and take care of things, only to find out later you got socked with penalties and late fees again for being late? Not only is it frustrating, it is a complete and preventable waste of your hard-earned money.
Many creditors are no longer as forgiving about grace periods and payment timelines. It is now more important that you have an organized system for ensuring all of your bills get paid and on-time, each time. You need to change your financial habits to eliminate late fees and help you on your way to living a debt-free life, with a much-improved rating of credit. Since no one method works for every single person or financial circumstance, here is a check list of questions to get you thinking about your money habits and how you can mold them to a more effective way of managing your financial responsibilities.
Why is it so hard to be on time each month?
Perhaps the reason your financial house isn't organized is because the rest of your life is helter-skelter as well. Are you always late because you just do not have the time to devote to your money issues? If that is the case, you need to know that you absolutely do have the time. You just need to find it. That will involve changing your daily habits and making a stronger commitment to getting out of debt and making the most of your money. As we are all dealing with chaotic schedules, there will come a time when you need to slow down and take a look at what unnecessary things you can cut out to make more time for the important things. This is not only important for your money matters, it will also prove to be important for your levels of stress and your overall health. If you are paying bills late because you don't have time, your first step should be a re-evaluation of your daily living habits.
Is it due to lack of money?
Some people are late with bills because they just don't have the money to pay them. This can be a difficult situation but definitely not one that is out of your control. If you have prepared a monthly budget, you should already know how much money it takes to meet your financial obligations for the month in conjunction with your income. If you numbers total out to be a negative, it is time to look for more income or cut your costs. If you have a good job, get your act together and make a case for a raise. If you want more from your career, maybe it is time to look for something new. If a new job is not in the cards for you, pick up some odd jobs around the neighborhood or apply for a part time position to add the needed income to your monthly budget. If you are not capable of altering your work life, take a hard look at what you are spending your money on and start making sacrifices. Cut out the cable or cell phone bill to save on money. There are a number of things you can live without, at least for a little while until you get yourself out of debt.
Are you not adept at handling money?
Some people just have no clue how to deal with money issues. Either they had parents who were always late in paying bills or they were just never taught basic management skills. Whatever the reason, there is no shame in asking for help. There are plenty of free online resources, including our site, where you can learn from other people's experiences. Take a basic personal finance class offered at the local community center. You don't necessarily have to hire an expensive CPA to deal with your basic expenses. You can learn to do it on your own if you really want to find financial freedom.
Whatever the reason your bills are late each month is just not a good enough excuse for doing something about it. Procrastination will cost you a ton of money if you do not change your money habits. Think about it – would you take a $5 bill and throw it out of the window of your car? Nope, probably not. But in essence, if you are freely paying money to your creditors because you don't have your act together, you might as well leave your wallet open on the roof of your car then next time you feel inclined to take a drive on the freeway.