bills bills bills

Ways to Catch Up on Your Bills When You’re Falling Behind

If you are falling behind on your bills, then you can rest assured that you are not alone. Half of Americans are struggling with their bills.

There are several things that can cause you to fall behind. This includes things such as low income, unexpected expenses and bad money management.

The good news is that you do not have to struggle with your money problems for long. There are several things that you can do in order to catch up on your bills if you are behind.

Find Out How Much You Owe

If you do not know how much you owe, then it can be difficult for you to catch up on your bills. You need to know exactly how much you need to pay each month.

You will also need to write down all of the due dates.

The following is a list of the kinds of bills that you likely have to pay each month.

  • Student loan
  • Credit card
  • Insurance (auto, home and health)
  • Gym membership
  • Rent or mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Pet Food
  • Eating out
  • Other debts
  • Child Care

After you have added the cost of all of your bills, you will need to compare this to your monthly income. The average person spends $1,000 on their bills each month.

However, this can vary from person to person.

Decide What You Cannot Live Without

There are some things that you can probably live without. Shelter, food and clothing are the basic things that everyone needs.

One of the ways that you can have more money to catch up on your bills is to cut down on your expenses. You will need to label your expense. You can designate necessary and lifestyle expenses.

Gym memberships, gym memberships, Netflix and subscription services are some examples of lifestyle expenses. Utility bills and rents are examples of necessary expenses.

Prioritize your expenses and determine which ones that you can live without.

paying your bills

What is the Difference Between Your Needs And Wants?

It can be hard for you to determine whether something is a need or a want. However, if you want to catch up on your expenses, then you will have to get rid of a lot of your wants.

It is also important to note that what you consider a need may actually be a want.

For example, a cell phone may be a necessity in today’s society. However, that does not mean that you need to have the latest smartphone.

Netflix will provide you with good entertainment, but there are other ways that you can entertain yourself for free. You can go to the library and check out a DVD or book.

Be Flexible With Paying Bills

You may be able to make a credit card payment on time.

However, if making your credit card payment on time means that you can’t pay the electric bill, then you may want to pay the electric bill instead.

You do not want to be left in the dark. Paying your utility bill should be your top priority.

It is also a good idea for you to talk to your service providers. It may not be possible for you to pay all of your bills in full each month.

That is why you should ask your providers if you can change the due date. Most companies would rather you pay something than nothing at all.

Furthermore, you may want to get an installment loan. If you get an installment loan, then you will be able to make small payments over a longer period of time.

Installment loans are designed to help people with all of types of situations.

Increase Your Income

If trimming your expenses doesn’t help you catch up on your bills, then you may need money assistance to bring in more cash. You can bring in extra money by getting a side hustle.

There are several things that you can do in order to increase your income.

  • Drive for Uber or Lyft. These ride-sharing companies provide you with a quick and easy way to make money.
  • If you do not want to get a side hustle, then you can ask the boss at your current job for extra hours.
  • Get an online job. There are several online jobs including virtual assistant and customer service. Sign up with Upwork and look for gigs for example.
  • You can start your own business. You can do lawn care, pet sitting, or babysitting.
  • You could borrow money against your car if it is paid off.

If you are struggling to find a way to make extra money, then you can make a list of your interests and talents.

You will likely be able to find a way to make money with your talents and interests. If you want to start a business, then you can ask your friends and family members to support it.

They will be able to promote your business to other people. You can start making money in no time.

Start Planning for the Next Month

If you are constantly finding yourself in a situation where you do not have enough money to pay your bills, then it is important to start planning for the future.

You should also have an emergency fund to cover the expenses that may pop up unexpectedly. Furthermore, you should plan to have a budget that will help you handle your bills.

It can be stressful to constantly have to worry about being evicted from your home, getting your car repossessed or getting your utilities turned off.

You can avoid this if you focus on narrowing down your bills. You will also need to find more ways to earn extra money.

If you can take those steps, then you will be in much better shape financially.


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can't find cosigner

What to Do If You Can’t Find a Cosigner

A loan is needed for virtually everything including mortgages, cars, college tuition, businesses, and any other generally high ticket item.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the credit rating to receive these big loans, which means you would need to obtain a cosigner should you not be able to satisfy a lender’s terms.

The cosigner is set to accept the responsibility on behalf of the lender, assuring that the loan will be paid back.

They genuinely will accept the risk should it not be paid back. As such, this is a huge favor on behalf of the cosigner.

They generally don’t get anything from it, except probably the admiration of the person they’re signing for.

However, not everyone is in a position to get a cosigner. If you find yourself in a similar position, here are some things that you can do to satisfy the lender’s needs to obtain financing.

Other Lending Options

As you understand, there are some stringent lending terms for credit unions as well as banks. This will disqualify more than a few people. If you find yourself denied, you may want to look at some other options to borrow money.

Most turn to friends or family for a private loan. There may be a promise to repay, or anything else to satisfy them to make sure that you pay it back.

This will do something for you in the short term, but won’t really help if you’re looking for a loan in the future, as being denied is usually based on credit. Private loans don’t do anything for a bad credit score.

There are also peer-to-peer loan options, such as Prosper and Lending Club. It’s true that they judge your credit score to a degree, it’s much less than what a bank or credit would consider when determining who is credit-worthy enough.

Instead, peer-to-peer lending groups attach higher interest rates to would-be lenders.

Borrow Money with Collateral

Some borrowers decide to put something up to satisfy a lender. Borrowing against collateral is an age-old way to get funding, such as borrowing against your car, and it still can work wonders today.

Basically, a lender wants to make sure that they’ll get their money back and in a timely fashion.

If the borrower happens to default, they can take ownership over what they accept as collateral.

Since you won’t have a cosigner going this route, you can potentially be in a worse position if you don’t pay the loan back. Depending on what you put up – you’ll be in dire straights without that, too.

Strengthen Your Credit Score

If you can’t find a cosigner and you’re being denied a loan, you’ll probably find that your loan is denied because of your credit history.

Strengthening your credit score will pay off in a myriad of arenas. A great score will give you better insurance rates, more attractive rental options, and better loan options. It’s just overall better prospects for the future.

build your credit

Poor credit can cost up to half a million dollars, according to the Lifetime Cost of Debt Calculator.

While it may be difficult to do, it’s a thing that takes a pretty simple strategy.

Just keep your credit balance low, pay off bills on time, and don’t take on unnecessary debt if you can help it. Aim for less than 35 percent of your allotted credit limit.

Your credit score can is affected by the number of credit cards with balances that you own, even if it’s just a small amount. You should ways to get rid of as many of these balances as possible.

Request Less Money

Some people find that they could do with a little less money on the loan. This isn’t a favorite option for potential lenders, but it does work.

If you request less money, lenders could be more receptive because it means smaller, or maybe even less-frequent payments.

This could be more palatable for lenders who are generally just interested in your credit score and income.

Take Some Time

No one wants likes to delay asking for money. After all, there’s usually a good reason why they need it. Unfortunately, it may just not be a great time to borrow.

While it usually isn’t personal, it’s true that the lender doesn’t feel as if you’re worth the risk. In short, they don’t think that you’ll pay them back.

You may have all the intent in the world to prove them wrong, but intentions don’t always come to fruition.

You can see this as a blessing.

If it’s something that you can remedy in the future, it’s probably best to just wait and work on things that will make any payments more affordable.

If you’re rejected, there are probably a few things that you can work on in the meantime. You may have little or bad credit, a lower-paying job, or a combination of both.

If you can fix those things in a reasonable amount of time, you’ll probably be approved and be much better off in other ways, too.

Credit History

Credit history is absolutely integral to a great score. The longer it is, the better that your score will be. As such, we suggest you keep old accounts open.

As you know, paying bills on time is important. In fact, it’ the single largest factor in determining a credit score.

Every lender wants to know that they receive their money when it’s due – not a moment later.

Making minimum payments may probably be the most comfortable way to do things, it doesn’t look very good to lenders.

To them, it seems as if you’re happy to delay payments. At the very least, it shows that you’re having some financial hardship.

A cosigner can remedy many problems for approval. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really do much for the underlying problems.

Take it One Step at a Time

Taking steps to improve your credit, through both action and mindset, will ultimately be the way to go.

It may be a headache for the short term, it will greatly pay off in the future. However, if you can’t find a cosigner, the options above will be of some help.

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find loan value car

How to Get Cash When You Have Bad Credit

If you’ve been downsized or laid off, if you’re still weathering the effects from a sluggish economy and your credit has taken a hit, there are still opportunities for you to get cash when you need it.

Normally, having poor or no credit can hinder you from getting a loan or credit card.

need job

5 Ways to Financially Survive when Unemployed

Facing unemployment is a scary thing that most Americans will face at least once in their lives.

The important thing is being able to financially survive until you can find another source of employment. With a little know-how, you’ll be ok.

Here are 5 real ways to financially survive unemployment:

1. Create a Realistic Budget

You’re unemployed. Now is the time to be honest with your finances and buckle down to frugality. The first thing you’ll need to do is establish how long your savings will last.

There are plenty of free financial apps and websites that can help you create a budget. They’ll even send you automated reminders and alerts to help you stick to your budget, but the real effort is going to have to come from you!

Try Mint. It’s free and you can categorize and track your spending.

You’ll have to cut all your extra expenses, of course. Look at your last bank statement, and assess what will have to go.

budget cut costsNo more cable, lattes, or trips to the vending machine- cut out all those little unnecessary expenses that add up.

Grocery shop a little more carefully, and find any and every way to spend less money on the basics.

Be thorough, cover all your bases, and be ruthless with your budgeting. The longer you can make your money last, the less stressful financially surviving while unemployed will be!

2. File for Unemployment (if applicable)

You may not be eligible for unemployment benefits, or it may just be a better option for you to skip this step and start seeking a new job.

Filing for unemployment isn’t for everyone, but it’s always better to know a bit more about all your possibilities before fully ruling any option out.

The steps you’d go through to file for unemployment vary by state. So do some digging to see if you meet your state’s requirements, and what documents you’ll need.

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need some basic information handy, such as…

  • Your Social Security card
  • Your driver’s license
  • The name, address, and phone number of your last employer
  • The date you last started work
  • Your Employer’s Federal ID Number (typically found on your paystub or old work documents)
  • Listing your total earnings over the past year

Have all these documents on hand to speed the process up. Some states require you to file at their unemployment offices, while some allow you to file online or over the phone.

Once you’ve filed your unemployment claim, the state will review your case and decide if you’re eligible, and how much money you’d be eligible for.

The amount that you’d be paid each week will decrease over time.

The purpose of unemployment benefits is to help you get through the next few months until you can work again, so it’s not a good idea to get too comfortable.

Particularly since you typically have to file for unemployment each week following, and most states require some proof that you’re actively looking for employment.

So if you’re eligible and start receiving unemployment benefits, be sure to always be seeking a job during that time.

3. Secure Health Insurance

If you lost your health insurance along with your job, you may want to get covered.

This is especially crucial if you have a family that was on the plan you had with your job.

Insurance may seem like a luxury that you can’t afford right now, but your bank account will be glad you have it if something bad should happen.

If your kid breaks their arm and you have to go to the E.R. without any health insurance, your carefully-budgeted unemployment period is busted.

If you get sick and have to take a few days off from seeking a job, you’re going to want some health insurance to afford your medicine and get back to the job hunt.

Your two best options for securing health insurance while unemployed are going to be COBRA or U.S. federally subsidized health care (likely Medicaid).

COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) helps the unemployed keep the insurance they had with their previous employer.

This might be the better option for you if you happened to have a really good healthcare plan through your job, or if you’re looking for more comprehensive coverage for your family.

However, it can be pretty expensive. It varies. But it usually offers better coverage.

The cheaper option is available to the unemployed thanks to the Affordable Care Act on What you’re eligible for will vary, of course, as will the amount of money you’d receive. But it’s a good option to keep you covered while you find a job.

Getting health insurance may not be a real need for you. But it could potentially keep you for having to pay for health expenses out of pocket if the need does arise.

Or you could cross your fingers that you won’t get sick for a while.

4. Set a Schedule

Along with sticking to a budget, adhering to a daily schedule will help make unemployment more manageable. A set schedule will not only help improve your job search, it’ll also keep your mental state in a good place.

Maintaining a sense of structure will be crucial to keep you from sinking into the apathetic sense of self-pity that can be an easy trap for us all to fall into without our sense of purpose and routine.

  • 8 a.m.-9 a.m. Wake up, shower, eat breakfast, get ready for the day.
  • 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Search for jobs, revamp your resume.
  • 12 p.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch break
  • 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m. Submit applications, send emails, write/send cover letters, etc.

Besides your new daily “work” routine (hey… finding a job is a full-time endeavor and a lot of work!) you might want to set a more long term schedule.

Submit 20 job applications in the next week. Attend a job fair or unemployment help session twice a month.

That kind of thing.

Don’t tell yourself things like, “I’m going to land a job by next week.” That’ll only lead to frustration and unreasonable expectations for yourself.

Make sure you’re eating healthily, getting enough sleep, and exercising. A negative mindset will drag you down and hold you there.

Unemployment sucks, but preventing yourself from wallowing will make all the difference in your mission for employment and financial survival.

It sounds stupid, but it’s not: never underestimate a positive, goal-oriented attitude.

5. Get to Work

Finding a job is your main focus. But besides your constant job search, you should also start planning for your financial survival until you’ve scored that job.

There are resources and tips to help you financially survive unemployment and many others who have successfully managed their periods of unemployment, but you have to take the initiative. Finding yourself needing cash assistance while unemployed is frightening, depressing, and often overwhelming.

But taking it a day at a time, and organizing and rallying yourself will honestly help you find a job faster and curb the anxiety.

As you’re well aware, financially surviving unemployment won’t be a bundle of fun and rainbows, so prepare yourself as best you can.

Look for new, temporary ways to bring in some cash: start a business, sell homemade crafts from home, do some temp work for friends and contacts, and ask for some leniency from landlords and service providers.

The sooner you can find a job, the sooner you can stop worrying about your financial survival, and start financially thriving again.

Even if it’s lowing-paying and temporary gig until you can find something better. The important thing is to not get discouraged!

Unemployment is frustrating.

A lot of time is spent applying, waiting, and repeating. But stick to a practical plan, keep at it, and hang in there; you’ll be back on your feet in no time, a proud financial survivor of unemployment!

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business costs

Tips for Controlling Your Business Costs and Saving Money

While running a business the peak concern of business owners is controlling the cash flow. Businesses are just like any standard budget.

You must make more at your business then you spend.

How can you go about this?

Well, you could always put out a cheap product and be the only employee, but then you wouldn’t have a business to run for very long.

It’s a fine line on how to cut business costs to save money and how to just slash your budget and ruin your business model. How should you handle business cost management?

Technology Can Save

Technology is a life saver for a lot of people. This is especially helpful for people who are hesitant to grown their employment numbers.

Technology can be very cost effective when it comes to business cost management. Automatic invoicing in the cloud, project management, and payment acceptance.


A lot of the tech products are offered on a free trial by their production companies to ensure that people get the best for their money.

When you hear about the $15/hr pay that Seattle enacted you wonder how they saved on business costs in the city. They decided to install payment centers in numerous McDonald’s to slash costs.

Use technology. Don’t be afraid of it.

Freelance/Contract, Not Permanent

Having a permanent employee can be expensive. It’s very expensive if you are able to offer benefits. Taxes, healthcare, uniforms, training, etc.

These things truly pile up in the cost department. Business cost management dictates that if you’re going to make a permanent hire, you don’t spend all of that money in one lump sum.

Numerous companies have a probationary period of at least 90 days before benefits begin. Freelance and contract employees are the way to go if you can’t afford to offer those benefits.

Even if you don’t want to offer those things contract employees can be the answer.

Most freelance/contract employees will ask for more money because they’re not getting benefits, but ultimately overtime you will save money.

It’s also much cheaper if you have to end up firing the person.

Communication Costs Can Hurt

There are four big cellular companies that cost a good bit of money for communication.

Then you have landlines which haven’t gotten much cheaper because they are predominantly used for businesses now instead of residential.

Business cost management can be difficult when it comes to business expenditures.

Whether it’s just you or you have multiple employees you can save money on communications. Skype, Google Chat, and other free services will cut communication bills by a lot.

Replace The Dead Weight

When your employees become dead-weight, cut them. Employees can become quite stagnant after a while. Especially when they don’t believe in the vision of your company.

Take a look at the revenue per employee and determine who is not worth the money you’re having to spend on them.

If you have employees doing the bare minimum they are going to make your company look like it is doing the bare minimum to serve your customer base.

Take your bottom 10-15 percent of performers and replace them with people that show they can match with the top of your revenue per employee producers.

Renegotiate Vendor Contracts

Vendors are a lot like bills. They tend to slowly elevate costs as time goes on.

They use excuses about increase in costs of production or they try to say the price was only good for a small window of time. Do not let vendor contracts go longer than a year.

Renegotiate vendor contracts every year at the very minimum. This ensures that you can discuss terms and costs frequently.

Vendors who don’t meet your needs while the contract is active can be easily replaces by a cheaper and more efficient alternative.

Be Your Only Employee As Long As Possible

This one is simple. When you’re running a small business you can tend to feel overwhelmed and then you decide that it’s time to hire.

Not so fast.

If you don’t want to be a giant corporation then you can consider being a small business for a long time. Small business start out being run by self-employed owners.

You need to decide whether you want to entrust other employees with your vision for your business or you want to be the only one responsible for your business being effective.

When you’re not having to pay anyone, your business cost are as low as possible.

Limit Equipment And Supplies

Equipment and supplies are expensive. The problem for a lot of business is their costs are so tied up in the purchasing aspect, they bleed money.

Sure, you want quality equipment, but you don’t want to overspend on something that is maybe a couple percentage points more effective than a much cheaper alternative.

Remember that the supplies you purchase are going to be turned into whatever good or service you’re offering.

If you’re giving the customer a great experience, your cheaper alternative supplies aren’t going to hurt the outlook on your product.

Don’t buy 24K gold toilet paper when you can get off-brand from any generic store.

Work From Home Or Share

Most self-run businesses can fit in a home. Working on a computer, out of a garage, or out of the backyard.

They are all very easily done at home.

This saves you on rent and electricity for your business because you’re already paying that for your place. Another alternative is to share a store front or office.

Numerous store fronts and offices are split. You will see a 231A and a 231B storefront which splits up the store into two smaller stores. This helps cut the costs virtually in half.

Business Cost Management Is Simple

It is very simple. Calculator business costs are controllable to a point, but if you want to run a business, you have to spend money.

Remember that cutting costs is important but producing a good product and service is better and makes you irreplaceable.

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personal loans online

How Do I Get a Personal Installment Loan?

Have you been looking for financial assistance for a little extra cash to be able to pay for an upcoming event? Or are you dealing with an emergency or sudden crisis you have no way to pay for out of pocket?

A search online for financial help probably turned up payday loans or installment loans, and your question is probably why and how you should get one.

Personal loans like these are offered by independent brokers and finance agencies either in brick and mortar stores or online, and their aim is to help consumers who may lack the qualifications for a bank’s loan.

The Main Way Installment And Payday Loans Work

Some alternative lenders lump payday and installment loans into the same product, while others prefer that they be completely separated and referred to as different because they do have one distinct difference which is in the time and amount of payments.


A payday loan in the traditional structure is meant to be a small cash loan that’s both funded in a lump sum and meant to be paid off in a lump sum.

An online installment loan on the other hand is funded in lump sums, but they’re paid back in many payments stretching out over a period of months, and you pay off both principal and interest with those payments.

How You Get Approved For One Of These Loans

Each lender’s personal loan product will have different requirements as to how they are obtained.

That’s because these loans are primarily dictated by state authorities, although there are a few rules that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has set that lenders have to abide by regarding balloon payments and making sure consumers are able to cover them.

But aside from the CFPB and their warnings to consumers on installment and payday loans, it’s mostly up to the states to put in place the rules lenders follow for determining who can use them, and how much can be borrowed.

Amount of Money

Usually these loans are small dollar amounts, and while loans paid in installments will last longer or perhaps be used for larger expenses than very short-term payday loans, they aren’t meant to be ongoing forms of financing.

Most of them are offered online instead of in brick and mortar stores, though you may still find lenders who give you the option to visit them in-person.

But since they are usually online loans, you can expect to submit electronic copies of the following:

  1. Documents or electronic records that verify you are employed and have income that meets the threshold for the amount you want to borrow
  2. Information about your checking account since the lender will need to charge a withdrawal on the due dates
  3. Documents about regular bills or rent you pay since usually a lender will conduct an alternative credit check to see if you’re able to borrow money and repay it accordingly

What they’ll usually do first is have you fill out an installment loan estimate first before contacting you to complete the main application.

This is just to give you an idea of how much you might be able to borrow.

Once they ensure your information is correct and you meet the loan borrowing requirements, it’ll usually be up to about a day or more before you receive funds in your checking account.

Repaying These Loans

Usually these loans are repaid in the scheduled amounts on the due dates the lender has in their agreement.

Usually you do have the opportunity to pay off the loan before its final due date to avoid interest payments, and most states require that lenders allow this without penalty charges.

It is important to check with the lender’s terms as well as your state’s laws to be sure you won’t be hit with penalties as well as to ensure your lender accepts the form of payment you want to make with them.

Car Care

Best Ways to Keep Your Car in Good Shape

Cars can be loyal machines that serve an owner for years and years, or they can break down at the first sign of trouble. The type of car driven depends mainly on how well it is taken care of. The better the shape your car stays in, the more value it hold for resale, or for getting an online title loan. Here are the best ways to make sure a car remains in the best shape it can.

millenial money

Millennial Money Mistakes

It is in our 20s and 30s that money management is easiest because we are just starting out. We pay the basic rent, car payment, insurance, and food.

We usually have enough left to invest wisely, most times in a 401(k) plan that may or may not be met by our employers. However, there are also basic mistakes we all make managing our money.


Common Personal Finance Mistakes

Properly managing your personal finances may be the most important skill in life, but it is a skill that far too many people lack.

While you may be able to get away with making a few mistakes, you will eventually find yourself in financial hardship.

money home improvement

How to Make a Budget for Home Improvement Projects

As a homeowner, it’s important that you set aside funds for ongoing maintenance and repairs for your home, both inside and out. Setting up an annual budget is useful, but you’ll also want to create an accurate budget for each project that you take on.

Below are four tips to help you make an accurate budget to take your next home improvement project from the starting point all the way through to completion.