When The Bills Come

Right now, I am in a tight bind financially.  My credit card debt is within my means, but the bills are adding to my stress.  Add to the fact that my father is currently finding a new job...and I have to take care some of the home bills as well.  This is making me anxious.  My emergency funds are all dried up, and me other income sources have stopped flowing.  I know I can survive this month, but barely.  The thought of being bankrupt is not a good thing..

Anyone experienced this too?  How did you cope with the anxiety and stress of being in a tight financial situation?
  • 20 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I'm in a similar situation myself. I just take things one day at a time and try not to dwell on the future. I remind myself that I won't be in this situation forever and things will gradually improve, especially when I've paid my debts off. In the meantime, have you considered doing some online work from home to raise a little extra cash? 
  • Been there a number of times, since I graduated from college. Every time I settle into what seems like a dependable job and things are going well, and I'm signing leases and buying furniture and getting settled down - something starts to hit the fan at the job and the place goes under, leaving me scrambling for another job and having to relocate again. Three companies I've worked for in the past 12 years got bought out and let everyone go - it's nuts. 
    I would say it helps to be proactive now rather than later, and do some extreme restructuring of your shopping habits, budgets and weekly and monthly spending. Knowing exactly how much money you have available each pay period, and exactly how much is going to what, including building up emergency funds and more importantly, paying off those credit cards asap. Even if it means more extreme stuff like ditching your Cable and just watching all your shows online, if that can help you pay off your cards within a few months to a year, all the better. Or pair down your grocery shopping list to eliminate all the unnecessary things which add up and drain your funds. Even something simple like not buying sodas anymore, and brewing your own iced tea can save a lot of money over the course of a year.

    Bankruptcy isn't the end of the world, but you only get one shot at it, and if you have to file it a second time years later, assuming you don't get denied, that type of bankruptcy doesn't wipe out all your debits - you still have to gradually pay them back. It would be a shame to waste a bankruptcy if you are only a  thousand in debt, for example. But if you're like $15k, $30k or more in debt and your interest rates are crushing you,, then that's a different story. Especially if you're credit rating was already damaged due to missed payments, the sooner you wipe out all that stuff and start clean, the sooner it will be off your record in several years. 
  • There will be times that we will encounter this kind of situation in our everyday life. I had experienced this before already wherein I am in a financial burden. I had to pay many bills like credit card,  electric, water, health insurance, had to buy foods and other personal things at home etc. And it came to the point that at the same time I had lost my work too that is why I am really down that time and to much worried in my mind and I do not know what to do at that time. I am ashamed to ask help to my parents and my siblings but I knew they had the means to help me. When I cannot think anymore where to go and find a solution to my problems I already went to my family and told them my situation and at once they all share in paying all my bills because they do not want me to be depressed. I am just thankful that me and my siblings had a strong close family ties and we are all supportive to each other even we had our own family already and we owe it to our parents who taught us the true value and essence of what is a family.
  • At some point in my life, I have experienced the sames feelings of anxiety  (when the bills come) and it was my father who gave me reasons not to surrender into deep anxieties. I regained my confidence and start selling anything that could help me finance my job searching and recover. Indeed, it was just me who thought I was doomed for failure. Now, I managed to re-start my life into something better.. able to build my emergency fund and started on investing.
  • Money gives me great anxiety as well. I talk to my father about it and have had many freak-outs fueled by money concerns. I know i have a support system of people who would help me if I start being in very financially dire times. I try to think that hard times may come, but it won't be anything I can't handle. It won't break me. There are people to help. 
  • I have been in your situation as well and fortunately, I did not vent those anxiety into something more destructive or more disastrous towards my personal finance. A lot of people cope out by gambling or alcohol.

    I guess the only thing that keep my mind focused despite of my anxiety over my financial condition was my work. During bad financial situations, I tried to give my all towards my work and as the result, I will be rewarded one way or another. I was able to get a loan from my company to temporarily support my life one day because I worked hard.
  • I'm sorry you have to be in this situation, I can imagine it feels really stressful. Try to stay positive and keep working all the angles you can. If you keep looking and trying, you'll find earning opportunities, even if they are small. Also what has worked for me is to have faith in God and that he will take care of me, and not put me through something I can't handle. Sorry if you are not religious though, I don't mean to offend anyone.
  • Right now you're going through a rough patch which is quite normal in life. It's how you respond to such challenges that matters. Having confidence in yourself is key as you will be able to manouvre your way out of such situations without necessarily having a stress build up.
  • I don't have a lot of bills, but when things come around that I have to spend a lot of money on or when my netflix money automatically comes out of my account once a month, it makes me cringe and it makes me want to cry. Or when I have to go food shopping and then I look in my bank account and I want to cry. I cry a lot, can't you tell?
  • I can so identify with what you are feeling, bills are one of the things that set my anxiety levels on fire. When it is time for the tax bills or large payments like my car insurance I literally lose sleep over bills. I will wake up in a state of anxiety and it effects me. These are not bills that I have because of poor choices these are actual bills associated to just living. It feels like no matter what i do I just can't get passed making barely enough to get by. I don't understand this, I work the same jobs as other folks and I just feel like it is a constant struggle to get by. I have worked two and three jobs and still had to struggle because then the things you have to do become compressed as your time to do them disappears from work.

    I try not to think to much about it but it creeps in. I would hardly say that it is a rough patch for everyone, sometimes this is the reality of poverty. Most poor people I know do manage to cope, you find ways not to spend money. You know you will never get to do what some people can in the world.
  • I was sometimes in situation where I had no money to pay my bills, so I had to cut them. Fortunately I am not owing that much, so it was just a matter of cutting expenses. 
  • To be honest, my financial situation is hardly ever that great. Only now and again anyway. I'm not too sure how things are going to go this week. It looks like I may have my money stopped until I provide some documents and if that happens then I haven't got a clue what to do. I won't be able to earn any money online as usual because my internet is about to run out and I won't have any funds to buy more. Sometimes things are tough but I always manage to get through it somehow. I guess it's just about surviving.
  • @androl surviving pretty much sums it up. You just try to find a way to keep all the things going. Sure cutting back on things is a solution, but sadly there are times when you get to the point where there's nothing left to cut back. I guess I have always been grateful there is no such thing as debtors prison in America anymore because I am sure I would have found myself there more then once.

    What I have never understood is why it has to be more of a struggle for some people to make it then others? You would think that working an honest day should be enough for the average person to cover the normal things like heat and food, but sadly the truth is it isn't always. Funny isn't it? that you can find free wifi spots yet you might have to make a decision about being warm or eating.
  • @SunnyDaze
    It is strange, isn't it? Sometimes I'll see people working their fingers to the bone day after day and only just managing to scrape by, whereas at other times I'll see people who don't seem to do anything, never seem to go to work and yet they have enough money to just sit around in pubs all day or go out and do whatever they want. One thing is certain, life is not fair!
  • Well, me and my roommate are sharing everything, so there are no worries about a tight financial situation. You can try to find someone close to help you with this. It's not that shameful, and if they are good friends most likely they will understand your situation and be willing to help. 
  • Sometimes the bills do pile up and in those situations I just have to cut expenses. Fortunately I was never in a dramatic situation and when I could be, my parents were there for me. 
  • Sometimes, I do live paycheck to paycheck, and even then I have lived behind paycheck to paycheck, which means I'm a week or two behind in paying things with my actual income. It's a tough situation, and I feel for you because it does make everything much more difficult. I've had times where my phone was off for weeks at a time or I couldn't afford to go drive somewhere, so I'd have to walk instead. 
  • I am in a similar situation right now, but   you know what I do?  I have reached a point in which it's easy for me to think something like:  whatever will be will be and I will find a way.  And guess what? I totally believe it!   Just have in mind that worrying is like a rocking chair: it takes you nowhere.  When I start feeling panicky wndering if I will make it til the end of the month I enter into some sort of zen state and I think I will  find my way :)  
  • I am currently in bankruptcy as I could not afford any of my bills anymore. I was having so much stress trying to figure out how I was going to get myself out of my debt and to not have an anxiety attack when the phone rings or I get another bill. 

    I tried to go through a debt relief program but I still couldn't make ends meet. So I had to finally go through with bankruptcy and it is not the end of the world but a new beginning to not make the same financial mistakes. I can breathe again knowing that the phone calls will stop and I am not going to get anymore bills. I am slowly learning to manage my money better and to differentiate between need and want. I still have my moments but now that I have to use cash it makes it a little harder.

    Just take it day by day and pay what you can when you can. Sometimes, if you call your credit companies they will help you to set up a plan that works better for you so you can pay. At any rate, it does not hurt to try.
  • I have a lot of anxiety during bill day because my husband and I are having a very hard time financially. I always pay the main bills first (Electricity, Food, Gas, Water) and then I pay what I can with the rest. Does not leave much wiggle room for other things but the main bills do get paid. It is stressful and I cry a lot. I know it is hard but just try to relax and realize that you have to stay calm and try to not become overwhelmed. 
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