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What about when you can't pay bills?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Sometimes we have a weird pay period where we can't pay all of our bills. It hasn't happened in a while but it's happening next pay period. How do you decide what bill not to pay? Do you do without buying food? How do you catch up?

 

Our bills next pay period: Rent ($675), car payment ($417), credit card ($133), electric (~$130), water (~$75), gasoline($240) and food/diapers ($240).

We are about $180 short and that's assuming our utility bills, we haven't gotten them yet so we don't know what they'll be. Our service line had a leak in it so who knows how long it's been there and how high our water bill will be. :(

post #2 of 14

I haven't been in this position since I lived at home with my mom, but I would not pay the credit card.  Call them and ask if there is anything they can do to help you out.  If you've been a good customer, most of the time they will work with you.

 

The other thing you can do is just make partial payments to electric and water.  Most of the time as long as you are paying something, they will work with you.

 

Good luck!

post #3 of 14

My priorities from your list would be food, rent, and car. You don't want to be kicked out on the streets. Utilities call and make a payment plan with them. They generally are happy to work with you.

post #4 of 14

I'd contact utilities and explain the situation.  Those alone more than make up for the deficit.  I'd also ask if they have assistance programs for low income customers.  Another option would be to contact Catholic Charities in your area (or similar) and see if they do cash assistance for utilities or knows who will (that way you wouldn't get behind).  I'd definitely still pay rent, car, food.  If you are paying interest on your credit card, missing even one payment could cause that percentage to skyrocket.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone, I hate when this happens. I feel like we are adults (we're 25 for goodness sake!) but we're not being able to live like adults. I feel like we're irresponsible, even though we're really not so much..the extent of our frivolity is $5 pizza a couple times a month and $40 in "spending money" a month.

 

We will be ok if I can sell these diapers..I have a bunch of fuzzi bunz pocket diapers that I'm selling for $8/ea. Is that too much? They're certainly not moving..

post #6 of 14

Are you using sposies now? I assumed you were since you mentioned needing to pay for them. Can you use the fbs you have instead?

 

I think $8 sounds fine, depends on their condition though. Where are you trying to sell them?

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma View Post

Are you using sposies now? I assumed you were since you mentioned needing to pay for them. Can you use the fbs you have instead?

 

I think $8 sounds fine, depends on their condition though. Where are you trying to sell them?

Oh we only use sposies at night (family of heavy wetters over here). We have prefolds and covers we use during the day. The pockets were hand me downs, I tried them but don't like them as well as the prefolds so decided to sell them. I have them listed on craigslist and on a local diaper group on facebook.

post #8 of 14

The property owner should be responsible for the water bill excess given the leak in the service line.  You're a renter and can't maintain things like that.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jocelyndale View Post

The property owner should be responsible for the water bill excess given the leak in the service line.  You're a renter and can't maintain things like that.

We've only been here a month so we don't have an average to go off of. :/

post #10 of 14

Can you call the water company and ask for an average of what it's been in the past for the month of April?  I know you can do that for electric and gas companies.  If you want to find out how much it costs to heat a rental place in the winter, you can call the utility company and ask them what the bills have run in the past and then make y our decision about the place.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Wanted to update..we found out our electric bill will actually be due the next pay period so we will be able to pay everything. Thank you everyone!

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post

Sometimes we have a weird pay period where we can't pay all of our bills. It hasn't happened in a while but it's happening next pay period. How do you decide what bill not to pay? Do you do without buying food? How do you catch up?

 

Our bills next pay period: Rent ($675), car payment ($417), credit card ($133), electric (~$130), water (~$75), gasoline($240) and food/diapers ($240).

We are about $180 short and that's assuming our utility bills, we haven't gotten them yet so we don't know what they'll be. Our service line had a leak in it so who knows how long it's been there and how high our water bill will be. :(

So glad the crisis was adverted.

 

Thinking more long term, you spend twice as much on car payments as food and 2/3 as much on rent on car payments per month. I think your car payments are what is holding you back. Any way to sell one, or both for something cheaper?

 

If this happens again, my choice would be: rent, food, power/water/ the car/gas that gets the wage earner to work...and then everything else.

 

Your siggy states that you are military. So in honesty, you don't have a "weird pay period" , you have a very standard paycheck that might not align perfectly with your monthly bills. My advice, and we are quasi military, would be to have a "buffer" in your account that is your new zero. For us, it is $1,000 because we have exchange rate issues and very stable bills. A few years ago, it was as much as $6,000--due to our bills and timing issues. Whatever you need to pay each pay period or month, already having in the account will give you so much peace. Hope that helps a bit.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarafi View Post

So glad the crisis was adverted.

 

Thinking more long term, you spend twice as much on car payments as food and 2/3 as much on rent on car payments per month. I think your car payments are what is holding you back. Any way to sell one, or both for something cheaper?

 

If this happens again, my choice would be: rent, food, power/water/ the car/gas that gets the wage earner to work...and then everything else.

 

Your siggy states that you are military. So in honesty, you don't have a "weird pay period" , you have a very standard paycheck that might not align perfectly with your monthly bills. My advice, and we are quasi military, would be to have a "buffer" in your account that is your new zero. For us, it is $1,000 because we have exchange rate issues and very stable bills. A few years ago, it was as much as $6,000--due to our bills and timing issues. Whatever you need to pay each pay period or month, already having in the account will give you so much peace. Hope that helps a bit.

Not a weird paycheck, a weird pay period, lol. This pay period was long, almost 3 weeks so we were short on food/gas for this pay period and that carries over into next pay period which is already tight because it's the one we pay rent and the car payment out of. My DH also "forgot" to pay his travel card off after his last TDY so we have to pay $100 on that too which isn't budgeted.

The van is definitely killing us but we're upside down on it. We owe over $9000 and it's worth less than $3000. The other vehicle is paid for but it's a single cab truck (it was a gift from his parents and they won't let us sell it). We can't do without because I can't do public transportation with my autistic 4 year old, the 2 year old and the newborn by myself to get the big one to his therapy/dr appts. I've tried to figure it out but short of crashing it, we're stuck.

We have been trying to pay off the credit card and build an emergency fund but we always end up needing to use that payment for gas/food or an emergency comes up (usually car related) and then the emergency fund is gone plus we're in the hole more. 

Really and truly we need to increase our income. I just can't figure out how to do it. DH might start a part time job delivering pizzas or something. He can't handle the 4 yo by himself so he can't watch them while I work and we can't afford childcare. It's almost comical...

post #14 of 14
Quote:

Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post
 

 The other vehicle is paid for but it's a single cab truck (it was a gift from his parents and they won't let us sell it).

 

This stuck out to me - you're adults in your own household. Sure, it was a gift but if it doesn't work for your family and it's contributing to financial hardship to boot, sell it. Trade it in for something more suitable. Your in laws will get over it. And if they don't, that's their problem. It's just a vehicle, not a family heirloom. 

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