Paying bills is a part of our life, and each one of us has to settle scored of bills on day-to-day basis, or at some other periodic intervals like weekly payments or monthly payments. Paying bills involve managing funds and resources to meet the obligations within time. Some bills are to be settled on spots. For instance, paying for your lunch or dinner in a hotel though you may, instead of paying in cash, may pay using a line of credit available with your credit cards. Generally, most of the bills which you have to pay will come to you from your restaurants, grocers, credit card companies, suppliers of utilities (like electricity, telephones, internet access providers) and other providers of services. The presenter of bills expect that the same are paid immediately or within the stipulated time. In case, one fails to pay bills, recovery companies are entrusted with the task of recovering the overdue bills, and at the same time, the defaulter faces the possibility of termination of the services. In most of the countries, non-payment of bills are considered an offense.
There are certain tips to manage paying bills. The most important rule which you may follow is to pay your bills promptly immediately upon their receipt. This has many advantages: it saves time; worry; last minute hassles and possibility of defaults; it saves money as you do not have to pay default fees if you fail to pay by the due date and as you pay your bills first, the temptation to spend money on other things generally will be less due to funds already gone to pay the essential bills; and mistakes may be avoided too of double payments arising out of failure to verify the bills already paid and unpaid.
Moreover, you may benefit from a number of other steps to organize paying bills if the readily available money is short or if one is facing monetary problems. These tips to manage and organize paying bills may be broadly divided into three groups:
- Essential bills are bills which are required to be settled essentially otherwise serious personal and family problems will arise. Some of the essential bills are:
- Payment for necessities like provisions and medicines
- Payment for utilities like water bill, gas bill, electricity bill, etc.
- One should be careful to pay income tax within the stipulated time limit
- Payment of installments or other dues for car leasing or rental
- Bills relating to supporting the child like school fees
- Low priority bills are also to be paid at some point of time to avoid damage to one's credit. However, their payment may wait for some time, say few days, weeks, or even months, depending on negotiation with the creditors.
- A student loan
- In case, you have a good legal defense, repayment may be postponed until the legal defense ceases to operate. Thus, if a court has allowed you some time to repay, you may hold the payment.
- Generally, a debt with household goods as security is a low priority as normally the creditor shall avoid taking possession of such goods - due to low value they may realize if sold. Moreover, it is very tough for the creditors to take possession of such household goods without the prior approval of a court.
- Naturally, a debt which is unsecured is of low priority as the creditor's remedy is such cases is rather limited, and the process of realizing the debt is rather cumbersome.
- Other issues - there are certain other issues related to paying bills, and some important aspects are indicated below:
- Refinance is not always the answer. By refinancing, you may be simply exchanging your current debts with debts with higher interests and longer repayment schedules, and may fall a prey to Debt Trap.
- If you receive threats to damage your credit or collecting agents step up their activities, you should consider the position with an open mind - these should not prompt you immediately to pay those bills and debts at the cost of not paying the essential debts and bills.
- If the creditor obtains a court' order to recover a debt or a bill, you should arrange to repay the same at the earliest to avoid further legal complications.