Today we are going to look at another statistic and like last time we are going to evaluate them by flipping them.
The original statistic
Twenty-six percent, or more than 58 million adults, admit to not paying all of their bills on time.
National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) – April 28, 2009
74% are paying their bills on time, or in other words, 3/4 of the folks are paying their bills on time. So let’s talk about ways to pay your bills on time.
4 steps to paying your bills on time
1. Participate in monthly budget programs that are offered by your utility companies. This keeps your payment the same month after month which eliminates those up and down utility bill swings.
2. Move to automated bill paying through your bank or credit union. This will prevent you from procrastinating in submitting the payment and may eliminate late fees. Just be sure you have the funds in the account.
3. Spend less. By spending less you will have more money to work with to pay your bills.
4. Stop spending in one or two categories (such as eating out of clothing) for a couple of months. This will help you to temporarily free up additional cash to pay your bills, get everything current, and possibly establish some much needed surplus / Emergency Fund.
Some of you may be saying Bryan, you just don’t understand what these poor people are going through. Yes, I do understand. I experienced it when I got out of the military and I purchased my first home. My housing costs for a very basic 900 square foot home were over 60% of my budget. Yes, buying that house was not a wise choice at the time but like you, I never had any financial training in school.
I was curious what those numbers would look like in today’s dollars so I went to Inflationdata.com and punched in the numbers. In today’s dollars the 900 square foot house would cost $101,000 and my primary, 40 hour per week job would now paying me a whopping $13 per hour. Oh, by the way did I mention that interest rates back then were 16.5%?
So yes, I do understand what it is like to experience tough financial times because of some bad choices, my bad choices. But fortunately for me I wasn’t one to watch the news, attend a rally, demand a bailout, or pay attention to the politicians.
Get this…I didn’t realize I was poor!!
I wasn’t bummed, I wasn’t in despair, I didn’t blame others; I just took action. I worked a couple of jobs to make ends meet and I attended college at night so I could land a better paying job.
That experience taught me to:
1. Count the real costs
2. Evaluate the situation before making decisions.
3. Take responsibility for my actions and decisions.
4. Do what it takes to pay my bills and to pay them on time.
Looking back I wouldn’t change a thing. That one poor choice gave me the opportunity to grow, to learn, and to share.
Remember, YOU have a choice, and the choice is YOURS.
My Financial Life Coach, LLC
Delaware, Ohio 43015
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