How to Get Back on Track When You Fall Behind on Bills

If you’re one of the many people that’s living from pay cheque to pay chequee today, then you’re not alone. There are plenty of hard-working individuals just like you who feel as though no matter how hard they try, they can’t keep up with their bills. Sometimes, even when you do have a plan in place to keep you above water financially, a sudden emergency like a broken boiler or a flat tire could mean that you end up falling behind on your bills.

The biggest issue with falling behind on payments is that when you miss one, you can end up in the middle of a spiral where your financial situation just continues to get worse. If that sounds like the issue you’re dealing with right now, we have a few ways that you can turn the tables.

1. Make a Plan of Action

One of the best things that you can do when you’re in times of financial trouble and create a plan for how you’re going to overcome each problem. When you can see a step-by-step map to resolution, even the biggest issues don’t seem as bad. Begin by listing all the people that you owe money to, how much you owe them, and what you need to pay each month (including interest for any loans).

There are many companies out there that will help you to formulate a payment plan that suits your situation if you’re struggling with financial hardships, so try calling the people you owe to ask them about your options.

2. Work Out Your Budget

Budgets are crucial to building a secure financial future for you and your family. If you create your budget correctly, you’ll be able to continue using it even after you’ve paid off your bills, and you might end up having more money left over each month to save towards your goals.

Make a note of all the money that you have coming in each month, and all the money that you have going out towards regular bills. If you have any cash left over, ask yourself how you can divide it up to pay off the most pressing debts first – such as the ones with difficult lenders or particularly expensive interest rates.

3. Track Your Spending Habits

Budgets can only help you overcome your financial problems when you’re sticking with them. By tracking your daily spending habits and looking for areas where you can improve, you can begin to make a sustainable change. If you notice that you’re more likely to over-spend when you’re using a credit or debit card for instance, you could consider using cash envelopes to organize your money instead.

As you track your expenses, look out for any areas of spending that you shouldn’t be dealing with it all. For instance, do you have a gym membership that you pay for each month but never use? If so, get rid of it. You can always work out by going for a run or cycling around your local area instead. You can even learn how to do exercise routines using nothing but your own bodyweight at home with videos on YouTube.

4. Look for Opportunities to Increase Your Income

Sometimes, if you’re in a particularly difficult situation, you might find that the easiest way to pay off your debts faster is to find an additional source of income. The good news is that there are plenty of extra jobs that people can do today without turning their schedule upside down. Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft allow you to earn extra cash in your free time, while online freelancing websites like Upwork are a great place to earn money for graphic design, copywriting and other jobs.

You don’t need to be part of the latest tech revolution to earn additional money either, you can also think about asking for extra overtime hours from your current boss. You might find opportunities to show off your skills at work that could lead to a promotion and fewer financial issues in the future.

5. Don’t Give Up

Issues with money are some of the most frustrating, and stressful things for anyone to deal with. Sometimes, it can feel as though you’re never going to catch up with all your bills. The good news is that although reaching your goals will take some time, you will get there in the end.

While you’re working on your financial habits, remember to stay positive and focused on the result. Once you get caught up, you’ll have hopefully built some positive financial habits that will improve your quality of life in the years ahead too. Don’t give up! is NOT a direct lender and our loan-matching service is free to use. We don't charge a fee, but there might be a charge from some lenders within our network. Emu is a trading style of Ready Money Capital Ltd. does not make lending or credit decisions, we are not a lender - as a broker we match customer's loan applications with lenders in our database depending on the information provided. Ready Money Capital Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register under reference number 802557. Licensed by the Information Commissioners Office (registration number ZA441875).

Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to Emu is a broker, not a lender, and does not make credit decisions.