Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Our Finances Suck Part 6 - Payment Arrangements



Generally I try to make fortnightly payments towards my utility bills, school fees etc.. to avoid the shock of having the bill arrive and the full amount needing to be paid! Unfortunately at the moment this is not an option for me so currently I feel like I am drowning in bills and expenses (even more than usual!!).

So here's my advice on how to deal with situations like this....

Collect all of your bills together, figure out how much you can afford to pay towards each bill per week or fortnight and then get on the phone......eeek scary I know....but it's gotta be done.





I used to hate ringing companies to ask for payment extensions or payment arrangements ......like really, really hate it to the point of making myself feels sick about calling!!  

But now when things are really bad I figure that I've got no other choice...it's just gotta be done!  If it helps write down on a piece of paper what you are going to say so you can refer to it during the phone call.  

Check the back of your bills, nearly all of them will have a number to call for assistance with your payments.  Simply tell them that you are having a hard time financially at the moment, you are not able to pay the bill in full and you would like to make weekly or fortnightly payments of the amount that you previously decided that you can afford. 

Most of the time this will not be a problem at all but you must be aware that you are now locked into the payment arrangement  and you must make sure that you make all payments on time or else the payment arrangement will be broken and you will be required to pay the outstanding amount in full.  Also be prepared that some companies might be a bit more strict with what they want you to pay each payment and so you might have to offer to pay a little more than first planned..... 

To date I haven't had any nasty experiences with calling companies and arranging payment extensions or payment plans and it's much better to call and make a payment arrangement with these companies than it is to receive a letter from the collections agency who will be much less flexible and will want payment in full by a particular date or else legal action will ensue.

Believe me you really do not want things to escalate to the point of collection agencies and beyond.  Speaking from experience we ended up in a really bad financial situation years ago, had to move house, constant phone calls for payment of money we owed......in the end notice of our moving must have gone astray to one financial institution  and hubby's credit card at the time got forgotten......seriously we were basically paying money to those who called the most!  The bank never got in touch with us and the first we realized was a letter from the collection agency.  We paid in full within the time frame they gave us and we moved on.  A few years later we went to borrow some of the equity in our mortgage, just $5,000.....and guess what...we were denied the loan...all because of this black mark on his credit rating and this was the first that we knew of it.  That black mark stays there for 6 years....we still have 5 months to go before the six years is up.

So take my word for it, you do not want to get to that stage!  Call anyone that you can, make payment arrangements and stick to them.

You will probably find that your school will be willing to enter into payment arrangements for fees and often after school activities can be paid by installments too if you speak to them about your situation.

Just paying small amounts each week or fortnight will ease some of the pressure on your finances and eventually you should be able to get back on track!

Here's a useful link if you need some more information about making payment arrangements for your bills or if you have trouble in trying to do so....  just click here


Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT


Are you like me, a big baby when it comes to having to call people and make payment arrangements etc...??







14 comments:

  1. As a single parent, I used to pay all the bills weekly, but married life and our own business made me forget. We got into trouble. It's going to take a long time to get out of the trouble, but we're back to paying off bills again.

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    1. I know that feeling Cate....it might take a long time but at least you are heading in the right direction

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  2. I always extend my payments, even when I can afford to pay. Why pay today what I can pay tomorrow?! Backwards I know but I like to keep some cash for other unexpected things. I never feel bad about payment extensions. They're a part of life.

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    1. Sounds like a bit of a plan there....the money is better in your pocket!

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  3. Oooh I had to make payment arrangements a couple of time when I got caught out by big tax bills (a risk of self employment). The ATO were absolutely fine about it. Much better to be proactive and plan how you're going to get out of a financial pickle than to ignore it and hope it will go away - because it won't. Great series Veronica!

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    1. That's the truth Ellen! I was so scared the first time I had to call the ATO for payment arrangements but they were fantastic about it!

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  4. I can't say I've every had to make that call but I hope it sorts itself out for you. I love making payments to my bill each week. They come out of our pay weekly and it's great to get a bill where nothing is owed. Stick in there.

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    1. I think weekly or fortnightly payments are the way to go to stay on top of them Eva!

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  5. Great ideas! I've not had to do it but have been close. When I earned a regular income I preferred to pay bills enmasse rather than in weekly instalments and I found it easier to budget that way, but finding those big sums when money is tight is NOT easy.

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    1. Sometimes its whatever works best for you isn't if Deborah. Yes I agree the big bills and no money = trouble!!

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  6. Thankfully we have never been in that situation, but it's good to know how to go about it if you are. We pay amounts of our power and phone bill when we can. It's nice to get only a small bill. :)

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    1. Love getting only the small bills Jess....!!

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  7. This is such a good way to budget - my mum does this all the time and it really works because she can pay regularly but manageable amounts. I know it's hard to eat the frog and make the phone call, but your financial wellbeing is worth it!

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    1. Small payments are so much better than one big bill Sammie.

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