Struggling to pay bills each month can be a symptom of a much larger problem. Sometimes it means you are facing a temporary struggle, related to job loss or unexpected bill. In other cases, the problems are longer term and will continue until you take drastic action. If you are a middle or lower income family living paycheck to paycheck, things can spin out of control quickly, especially if you are struggling at the moment. Luckily, there are things you can do to help you improve your financial situation and get control of things again. What should you do?
1. Review Your Current Situation
Understanding where you stand is one of the most important steps you can take toward improvement. Some people have a tendency to hide from or avoid facing their financial struggles. If this sounds familiar or it has been awhile since you have assessed your financial situation, now is the time. Review your income, your ability to save, and your expenses in order to get a handle on how serious a struggle you are facing.
2. Create a Plan
If things are not as bad as you thought, you have the ability to create a plan to improve things as they are now. Commit to saving more or paying off a high-interest credit card in the short-term. Consider ways you can increase your earnings, at least temporarily. Catching a financial problem early can help you avoid serious issues in the coming months and years.
3. Focus on Savings
One of the primary components of getting things under control is saving money. If you are stretched too thin and you have no ability to save after your expenses are paid, you are facing a symptom of serious financial problems in the future. Make saving a priority and if it is impossible, your next step is to explore your more drastic options
4. Research Credit Counseling, Refinancing Options, Bankruptcy, Etc.
Even if your financial situation is serious you have options. Credit counseling can help you get the amount you pay each month to an affordable amount, but you need to carefully research credit counselors offering to help you. Many are unscrupulous and can make your problem worse. If refinancing your mortgage or negotiating a better rate on another loan could help free up some money each month, give it a shot. Bankruptcy could also be your best option and provide an opportunity for a fresh financial start.
5. Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney
If you think bankruptcy might be right for you, it is important to contact a bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. The filing process is complicated, so having the assistance of an experienced professional is essential. If you would like to learn more about bankruptcy or you want to speak to someone about your current financial situation, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696.