How to Pay Bills When You Don't Have a Job

by Doug Hewitt ; Updated July 27, 2017
Pay Bills When You Don't Have a Job

Paying bills can be difficult when you don't have a job. It's tempting to let some of the bills slide, waiting until you can find employment. But falling behind on your bills can have negative consequences on your credit rating, let alone having your home electricity getting turned off by the power company. By using your savings and lowering your bills, you can make it through to better times when you find yourself employed. Learn how to pay bills when you don't have a job, and this will also help you save when you do find one.

Step 1

Count your savings and any other income such as interest that you have coming in. Consider cashing in some of your 401k money if you have a hardship. The definition of a hardship can vary company to company, so check to see if you qualify.

Step 2

Try to get extra income coming in by having yard sales and doing odd jobs such as mowing lawns. Ask neighbors if there are any work that needs to be done around their homes. Set a low rate so that they'll feel inclined to give you extra jobs as they come up. The trick here is to try to get a little more money coming into the household.

Step 3

Cut down on your bills. Lower your electricity bill by keeping lights turned off and moderating your temperature controls in your air conditioning and home heating. Cut down on your driving. Perform all of your errands on the same trip. Fix any faucets that have water dripping from them. Shorten the amount of time family members spend in the shower.

Step 4

Call your credit card companies and try to negotiate for a lower rate. A lower rate will help lower the monthly bills, making you more able to afford them.

Step 5

Pay your bills on time. If you are in danger of being late on a payment, call the company and explain the situation. Many will work with you and won't count a late payment against you if you call ahead of time. You might also be able to negotiate for paying a lower amount one month and making up for it the following month.

Step 6

For any large bills, such as those that come with medical care, many will offer payment plans, sometimes at no interest. Call and try to arrange installment payments.

Tips

  • Sometimes family members can help in a crunch and loan you money to make payments until you find a job.

Warnings

  • Credit card companies can increase their rates unexpectedly. Check your bills monthly to keep track of the rates.

About the Author

Doug Hewitt has been writing for over 20 years and has a Master of Arts from University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He authored the book "The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting," which includes health and fitness hints for parents. He and his wife, Robin, are coauthors of the "Free College Resource Book."

Photo Credits

  • morguefile