How to stop late fees: There is nothing worse than throwing money away on late fees. And while I can understand and relate to why it happens – it has to stop. I am speaking from personal experience. It is easy to tell someone to stop but a different thing all together to show them how to stop. Especially when it comes to issues like late fees. I am doing away with late fees. Yes, I was paying late fees on a regular basis and I didn’t even know it. Let me explain …
How to stop late fees.
How to stop late fees. Sometimes things happen, you can’t always control everything in life and when you are in a financial bind – things fall behind.
One of the worse things to do is to throw much needed money out the window. By this I mean, that when you are tight (because that is when it usually happens) we tend to pay bills late.
It’s easy for financial gurus to tell you to stop doing it, but it’s another thing when your knee deep in poo-poo and you have to decide whether to eat or pay the electric bill on time. Now don’t get me wrong – I am not making excuses. I am simply stating that things happen and I can understand.
So how do we fix the problem, how do we stop late fees and save that much needed money.
Easy step #1: Change the due dates of some bills.
Sometimes it’s all about timing. If its lack of discipline or bad timing, some bills are clumped together and the paycheck is not enough to cover it all. Or the bill arrives a week after pay day and we accidentally spent it all. It happens. So stop late fees by changing the due date – it’s easy just call the company up and ask. The worst they can say is no. But some do allow the change.
Easy step #2: Cancel something.
Yes sounds drastic but sometimes a drastic measure is what is needed in order to save the day. At least it gives you time to recoup and may even teach you something about yourself as in if you really need that service. For instance, I canceled my cable – yes it was difficult and I suffered withdrawal for weeks.
But in the long run I learned that one, I don’t need 300 TV channels and two, I can live with Hulu and NetFlix. This is not a promo and I do not get paid for saying this. I just could not afford to pay over $80 dollars a month on cable at that time.
A more difficult step – step #3: This may take some time; I know because it took me some time. But step three is to create a pool. If you cannot change the due date and you have already canceled any wasteful spending. Then you have to create a pool of cash, a cushion. This is money you put aside to help you pay for the bills – so you pay on time and save on the $12 or $20 to $25-dollar late fee charge.
I know what you’re thinking: money is tight how can I save? I admit it is hard and it wasn’t easy for me to do it either but when I was able and started doing it – it saved me a lot of stress as well as a lot of money.
First let me explain what I mean. Here is a perfect example. My wife manages most of the bills, she tells me when they are due and how much. I complain about why so much and if we can pay it now or later. One of the things my wife had me believing was that we were being given an extension on the due date on our house phone bill. Everything month I would complain about how high our bill was. Part of the problem was that the company made it impossible to save money. We need the internet but we could not just get the internet we also needed the phone line and extra stuff we didn’t want – but could not drop.
So every month my wife would ask me “Do we pay the phone bill?” I would ask how much and if we didn’t have enough to pay it or if we needed that money for food – so I had to choose. My wife would then tell me not to worry because she can ask for an extension in order to pay later on in the month. I never understood it but when your tight you take anything you are offered.
Well, now that things are fine and money is being better managed I am finding out things I didn’t know. For instance, an extension does not mean they do not charge you a late fee. Late is late and you will be charged. I also learned my wife is a deceptive little woman. Every time I asked about the bill and why it was so high we would break out into what I call a “money fight”. It would usually end with nothing really being resolved. But then one day a few years back I learned about the late fees and calculated that I was being charged almost $20 in late fees every single month (for this so called extension).
My brain quickly did the math, 12 months’ times $20 that’s $240 dollars in late fees. What made me feel sick was trying to figure out how much money I had wasted in late fees in 5-10 years (still makes me sick). So I was left with no choice but to stop this nonsense.
How to stop late fees step #3.
I had to build a cushion, a sum of money that would insure I could pay on time and be able to save on the late fees that were eating me alive. Now when I say I understand when someone thinks – it’s impossible, trust me I do. Because even though I knew what the problem was, I couldn’t do anything about it. That is until I decided to break the cycle.
How to get the money needed to get the cushion you need to stop the late fees? For me it was my tax refund. Normally every year our tax refund went to school supplies and clothing, a vacation and some back bills. So I bit the bullet. First we started cutting the fat, that is when the cable was cut. I then got lucky and made my last car payment (and no, I did not buy a new one). So when tax time came I took a large portion of that money and it became my emergency fund for bills. But what about the vacation? Yeah, it was hard especially dealing with the wife arguing about it. But when she realized it made our financial life easier, she managed to calm down (a bit).
Of course after reading “I can make you rich” and learning how to automate my money – I took it a step further. Now I have the bills come out of my cushion account and I have the primary checking account replenish the used funds. This helps me save on late fees and to continue saving for the future. If you want more details on how I do it go to ( link ) my info graph (you can download the PDF for free no charge).
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