Picture the scene. It’s still several days to payday and you can’t check your bank balance without wincing to yourself.
Where did all the money go? You think back. Your friend is getting married and you’ve just been out for the hen or stag do. The car has just had its MOT and needed a few bits and pieces to keep it on the road. Your ICAEW membership subscription payment was due.
If this seems all too familiar to you, I hope this blog will give you some useful advice that will help you navigate this tricky situation.
How do you know which bill to pay first?
While ideally you would like to ensure all bills are paid, the reality is that some bills are more important than others. If you miss a credit card repayment you will soon hear about it as your phone will light up with calls and texts from the credit card company. This may seem scary and you might feel rushed into making a payment – this is what the credit card companies want!
So, how do you know which bills are priorities and which ones aren’t? While sometimes it can be tempting to pay the ones that shout the loudest first, the best way to prioritise is to consider what the end result of non-payment might be. For example, if your rent or mortgage payment remains unpaid, you could potentially lose your home. Likewise, the council has the power to use bailiffs and the supplier of your gas and electricity can disconnect you. Therefore these items should be treated as essential and prioritised above other bills.
Everyone’s lives are different and so what might be essential for you might not be essential for someone else. If you are elderly or disabled, your ability to access the telephone can be a vital lifeline, while if you depend on your car to get to work ensuring this is well maintained can become a priority to you too.
Many of the people we speak to at CABA tell us that, as chartered accountants, they feel pressured to try to resolve issues themselves and are reluctant to ask for help. Unfortunately even chartered accountants are not immune from wider economic uncertainty, with a recent Money Advice Service survey highlighting that 16 million people in the UK have less than £100 in savings.
How CABA can help
If you are concerned about managing your finances or getting through a difficult period, CABA can offer assistance in the form of grants and donations as well as practical debt and budgeting advice.
Written by: Paul Day
CABA Support Officer
Paul Day is one of CABA’s debt support officers, providing assistance and support to Chartered Accountants in financial difficulty. He is a certified member of the Institute of Money Advisers, having completed his certificate in Money Advice Practice in 2013.