The COVID-19 pandemic has made money tight for most average families and individuals. More often than not, such people find they don’t have enough money to meet all their needs. If you are one of them, you need to prioritize to say afloat until things get better. The following are some of the bills you should pay first.
Food, Shelter, and Health
The one thing keeping you afloat during this challenging time is your ability to work. You should therefore ensure that you pay every bill that would slow you down if it remains unpaid. Pay your rent and other housing-related costs on time. Related expenses include utilities such as electricity, water, and gas.
Make sure you have enough food to keep you going until you get your next payment. It may be prudent to reduce your food budget by eating cheaper meals. It is also vital that you stock any prescription medicine you need and renew your health insurance if it is due.
Pay for Your Transportation
You need to keep making the little money you are making to stay in the black. This is why your ability to get to work is a close second to food, shelter, and health in priority. Ensure you have enough money for gas to last you until the next payday. Make payments for your car on time as there is no grace period for repossession. You should also ensure your vehicle is insured. Ensure you are paid up if there are licenses or affiliations you need to renew to remain eligible to work.
Alimony and Child Support
Alimony and child support attract debilitating reprisals if you fall behind. Failure to pay can cause your driver’s license to be suspended in all 50 states. This would devastate your efforts to make a living.
Besides having your license suspended, the government can also take your pay to provide for the child. Having your paycheck garnished makes it impossible for you to pay your other bills. The government may decide to seize your tax returns, leaving you in trouble with the IRA.
Alimony and child support debt can lead to a felony charge if it gets to $10000. You can renegotiate payment terms until you are more financially stable. If you owe both alimony and child support, pay child support first.
Pay Loans and Tax Debts
The next thing you need after you have taken care of your bills is your debts. Loans often keep accumulating interest that becomes a significant burden later. Pay the loans with the highest interest rates first and renegotiate terms for the ones you can renegotiate. Personal loans have such high-interest rates; you should pay them off first.
If you have student loans, remember you owe the government, and the state is often more lenient than other lenders. Some payment terms for government student loans depend on your income. Thus, the more money you make, the more you will need to pay. While the terms of payment for student loans can be flexible, your creditor has the power to garnish your wages.
Pay Your Unpaid Bills
Earlier, we mentioned that you could hold off paying utility bills for up to a month without consequences. If there are any late bills, pay them up as soon as you get the money.
We have listed the bills above in their order of priority, and you should treat them as such. It will help you stay afloat until the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are no longer felt.