Unexpected expenses usually hit just when you need them the least – and it’s tough to find that extra cash when your budget is already stretched to breaking point. If you’re pretty good with your budget you may already have a little bit extra set aside as your emergency fund but the funny thing about unexpected expenses is that they’re usually not emergencies. Actually some of them probably aren’t that unexpected either, so perhaps “I should have known it was coming, it happens every year” is a better description.
No matter what the reason, from time to time we’re all faced with bills that are going to cause some grief when it comes to figuring out how to pay for them, so here are our top bill payment tips for getting things back under control.
Many bills can be paid in instalments, so if that unwelcome bill is your car registration or an insurance renewal, make sure you take advantage of the monthly or 6-monthly payment option. You’ll end up paying a little more over the course of the year but it might just help you to make ends meet when it matters.
Get a short term loan
Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time. If you’ve blown your budget but still have bills to pay, we’ve got you covered. Just check out our flexible mini-loans to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually get a payment into your bank account within 24 hours - so you can recover from that budget mishap with a simple payment plan.
Check out your credit
Some might think that paying a bill you can’t afford with your credit card this month is just going to become another bill you can’t afford next month, but if it releases your immediate concern then perhaps it’s an option worth considering. Just make sure that you do have a plan to pay the money off or you’ll end up paying a heap of interest if you can’t repay the whole balance.
We’ve all got plenty of things lying about the house that we don’t use so if you have an unexpected expense now’s the time to turn them in to cash. According to Gumtree, the average Australian household is sitting on 25 unwanted items worth $5400. That’s a second-hand economy worth a staggering $43.5 billion!
As hard as it may seem, sometimes going without in the short term makes the most sense financially so you can pay those extra bills. It might mean a month or two of living on cheaper cuts of meat and home brands but as the old adage goes, if you look after the pennies the pounds will look after themselves.
While we’re on the topic of doing without, a bit of DIY can mean the difference between still enjoying a little indulgence, or having none at all. Want your regular facial but going without so you can tip the money you would have spent into the unexpected expense bucket? Try some DIY magic – just Google DIY facial and you’ll be surprised how many low cost options there are.
Need to give someone a birthday present? Take a look at the stuff you have at home that you can re-gift, or make up a hamper with some home made goodies. Now that’s a cheap and delicious idea!
Financial hardship assistance
If you’re having trouble paying for your phone, electricity or gas bills, check your supplier’s website for their financial hardship hotline. You may be able to arrange a payment plan that will take the immediate pressure off your budget.
If all else fails
If all else fails and your fairy Godmother isn’t lurking handily anywhere nearby, it may be time to think about applying for a part time job. While a side gig may not be in your plans, it’s definitely one way to dig yourself out of a financial hole, and with Christmas just around the corner there are probably loads of retailers looking for some extra help. Uber is another option that will let you earn some extra cash and it comes with the added bonus of enabling you to work your own hours.
There really are plenty of options available if you find yourself with an unexpected bill to pay, so if this happens to you, take a deep breath, grab yourself a coffee (home made of course!) and decide which course of action is right for you.