Prioritizing Bills When You Can’t Pay Them All


We’ve all been there. Your bills come in and they’re more than your paycheck was. It’s not a good a feeling, but it happens. The last thing you want to do is panick, so here’s a plan for paying your bills in their order of importance.



Always, always, always pay your rent or mortgage first. It means you’ll have a roof over your head when you can’t afford anything else. Missing a rent payment could get you evicted and harm your credit.

Tip: If your rent takes up most of your paycheck, split it in half. Set aside half of your rent on one paycheck and the other half on the next paycheck. If you’re the type who spends whatever is in your checking account, move that money to a different account temporarily.


Auto Loan Payment

If you miss too many loan payments, the lender will take your vehicle away. If you absolutely cannot make your loan payment, call your lender before the payment is due and work out a payment plan. Most lenders will work with you if you make the effort to pay something. Just remember that payment arrangements can put you behind for your next paycheck. You don’t want to stay in that cycle.


Utilities/cell phone

Usually if you call your electric, gas and water companies, you can delay your payments if needed without them turning off your services. Again, payment arrangements only delay the payments, which could put you behind next pay period. Utility companies also charge large deposits to reconnect your service. If you don’t have the money for your monthly payment, you probably don’t have the money for the deposit.


Always call the lenders or companies to whom you owe money instead of just skipping a payment. Late payments hurt your credit and can result in loss of services. If you truly cannot afford all of your bills regularly, it may be time to move to a new apartment, trade in your car for something more affordable or track your expenses to see where that money is going.

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