The Savvy Mom's Guide to Paying Bills in a Pinch
When you sit down to pay bills and there isn’t enough money to go around, your heart sinks. I know that feeling all too well. Sometimes there isn’t enough time for a traditional solution, so take a look below. We’ve put together some easy, immediate options to get you through til next month.
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If you check around on Facebook, you’ll probably find some local groups that serve as buy/sell groups or garage sale type groups. If you’re already in a Buy Nothing group, you may post an “ask” for help finding the best ones. In my experience, selling in specific groups has a much better chance of working out than simply posting in Facebook Marketplace.
Choose items you won’t miss very much that are in good condition. Things like home decor, especially trendy items, usually do well in my geographic area. You can also try clothing, popular or new books, and even crafts or projects you’ve done.
Be sure to list what types of payment you’re willing to accept and how you want to exchange goods and payment (meet up, pick up only, etc.).
Approach Clients or Employers You Already Have
Leverage resources you already have. By that I mean you can ask your boss for extra hours or if there is a part time opportunity to add to the one you already fill. You can also let them know you’re hoping to make some extra money and ask if they know anyone outside of the organization who might need some help a few hours a week.
If you own your own business, approach clients you’ve done work for before and solicit business. Remind them of your last project and how much you enjoyed it, and ask if they have anything coming up that they need help with or any projects that have been back burnered.
Moms who don’t work outside the home can still use existing resources. Find out if anyone in your circle needs help with child care or taking care of elderly family or cleaning. All these are typically jobs you can schedule around your normal routine.
Get A New Job
This option isn’t always as good when you’re in a pinch because it takes time for the onboarding process and paperwork to go through. You may not be able to use the funds right away for that upcoming bill. However, applying for a new position (either one that pays more, or an additional job) can be very helpful when it comes to next month’s bills. Try becoming a virtual assistant or teaching English online through video chat. You can also do tasks like mystery shopping, eJury reviewing, and transcription.
Other options might include driving for DoorDash or Amazon. If you consider Uber or Lyft, be sure that you take precautions to preserve personal safety.
Selling bodily fluids can seem sketchy. However, many plasma donation centers are in better neighborhoods than they used to be, and they have stringent requirements. Call ahead and make an appointment for best results. This can be a great way to make some immediate cash.
Reduce Your Bills
It might be time to look at your budget and cut some expenses. How many streaming services do you really need? Can you change your phone’s data plan and do most of your internet surfing at home when you’re on the internet, rather than when you’re running errands and using up data? What about your regular manicure? Even a high end bottle of nail polish is less than the dip or acrylic set and the tip you usually spend every two weeks at a salon. Consider balayage instead of traditional blonde so that it can grow out naturally, and you can stretch the time between hair appointments.
Try some cheaper dinner recipes, rather than eating out all the time or buying steak. There are some really budget-friendly meals that also taste delicious. You can also make it a point to use up leftovers, rather than throwing them out and stretch your food budget even farther.
Call Your Creditors
If you know you won’t be able to make a payment, many creditors or billing services will give you some grace. Give them a call and ask for the billing department, and find out what kinds of deferment options they have or payment plans. Sometimes a company will only offer this option one time (like mortgage lenders), so be sure to find this out and only use it as a last resort when you’re out of other options.
Stretch Your Money Farther
Hopefully the options above will help you find ways to make ends meet this month. It’s no fun to feel like you can’t pay your bills. Let me know in the comments if you have other suggestions!
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