Paying the Bills on time

Personal experiences of a mess and how I handled it

Do you....

1. Pick up your post, see who it's from, put it under a stack of other paperwork and think it may go away?

2. In fear of the Bailiff coming round, hide all your valuables so they won't take them ?

3. Pretend to think that you'll be able to pay them all off next week ?

4. Don't answer the telephone, then 1471 to see if it was a 'Caller witheld number'

Don't worry, many of us have those T-Shirts and we know it's not a nice situation to be in.

Quite often in a downshifting experience, unexpected overheads arise and we suddenly find the Bills changing from Black to pink at rapid speed.

The main thing is not to hide away from the fact you have a problem. Lay them all out on the Table and work out which are the most important and which, if unpaid, will make your life or business very difficult to manage. We can't go without Electricity for instance, but may be able to go without the Mobile Phone for a month (it's surprising how quickly you adapt).

Take an example of missing payments on a Credit Card where you owe them say £250 as a minimum payment.
When they phone, explain the situation. Explain there is absolutely no way that you will be able to make that payment and don't 'guarantee' full payment by an actual date.
Offer them what you can. Say you'll pay them £50 now and if they'd like to ring you in a weeks time, you will try your hardest to make a further payment.
As long as you're paying some money, they will usually ride with you and should it ever come to it, you can at least say you gave them what you had and realised the seriousness of the situation you were in.

Although Direct Debits can help in spreading out payments and you have a better idea of your monthly outgoings, miss one and you're doubling up. Wherever you can, avoid this.

There have been a few occasions where I have fallen into all four of the above and it is only after sheer honesty with myself that I've started sorting things out.

Don't necessarily stay with the same Bank. Search Internet Banking Sites for the best deals and believe me, there are many which will suit your situation and can often have loads of extra benefits.

As of writing this (June 2008), I haven't used a Credit Card for two years. I have survived solely on the 'what I have is what I have' scenario.
If you want something, save up for it and before you buy it, make sure that by doing so won't affect other parts of your financial situation.

There is always the unexpected; ie car breaks down, a visit to the Dentist, the ceiling falls in etc. etc.

I have a list of 'get out' plans now based on the 'what ifs'.

But the main thing is try not to get in the situation in the first place, something I didn't do. It's no good thinking 'something will come up', because it won't always.
Always show willingness to get yourself out of trouble and you will.

The secret is positive attitude and honesty with yourself. For me and for many, this seems to be the answer.

bills down the pan


A good situation is sometimes to be a bit like me.
Don't have (or can't get I should say) Credit.

Simple as that.

Downshifting & Finance


Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it. Dalai Lama