Trying to make enough money to pay for everyday necessities is often a difficult task. Many employees feel as if they work long hours only to fall short financially. While the cost of living is continuing to increase, wages slowly trail behind. In many cases, employees are forced to choose between proper nutrition and paying for their mortgage or rent. If you are worried about how to pay your bills on a monthly basis, you are not alone. Recent reports have shown that four out of five U.S. workers live from paycheck to paycheck, and most are not capable of handling a financial emergency. Thankfully, there are helpful strategies to paying your bills that may improve your management of finances.
The sections outlined below include tips and tricks that can help you start paying off your bills and ease the financial burden on your shoulders. By reducing your other bills, you have more money to put toward your rent or mortgage. Combining federal assistance with some money-saving tips can have you back on track in no time.
Utilities are typically the most difficult bills to predict. Depending on the particular time of year, your bills can skyrocket or drop significantly. Continued late payments or failure to pay these bills altogether can result in temporary disruption or complete disconnection of these services.
Overall, it is important to avoid having your utilities turned off. That is because, once they are off, you must pay a reconnection fee to turn them back on. Moreover, try to use the following month after a missed payment to seek out financial assistance. If you are not able to obtain financial assistance quickly, emergency payment assistance may be an option. If you are within the grace period to pay a bill after its due date, there are several programs to help you.
In any case, in order to qualify for energy assistance programs, you must meet the federal poverty income threshold. Each household size has a specific income cut-off. If you already receive other forms of government assistance from programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), you may be eligible for additional aid. However, be mindful that certain assistance programs count these other programs as household income, so make sure to check the compatibility of each of these programs before applying for assistance.
Paying your bills and providing a nutritious meal for your family is not always possible. To lower the burden of trying to pay for both, you may look into applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is commonly referred to as “food stamps.” SNAP offers monthly benefits to approved beneficiaries to help purchase food items. You are provided a list of approved types of food on which to use your monthly funds. For example, fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, dairy products, bread and cereals are all approved. However, you are not able to use those funds to buy non-alcoholic beverages or hot pre-made foods. Freeing up money from your groceries each month can help you pay off some of your bills.
On the other hand, if you do not have children or qualify for a physical or mental disability, obtaining support through traditional SNAP can be difficult. If you are not disabled and do not have children, you may look into the Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) program. ABAWD is offered specifically to eligible participants between 18 and 49 years of age. Depending on the state where you apply in, be mindful that there are work requirements that you need to meet for continued support.
According to a report in 2017, child care is one of the largest monthly expenditures in an average family budget. Because caring for a child is so expensive, it is important to explore the different strategies and programs that may assist you with such costs. For instance, consider the following:
TANF is a program offered to families with dependents struggling to cover their basic necessities. This money is distributed through an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card. Each month, funds are wired to the card. TANF money is designed to have a broad range of benefits. For example, TANF may be used for child care costs, income assistance or education and job training. The goal of TANF is to ensure that families stay together and work toward becoming independent of receiving any government benefits.
You may be eligible for housing assistance and other federal relief programs. To assist you, we have compiled all the necessary information you need in order to guide you through the process. We are not associated with any federal or state governing agency.