5 Key things to consider when you cannot pay your bills
Having difficulty paying your bills? Then there are 5 Key things you need to consider if you’re struggling to pay your bills, from seeking advice to finding a way to make your home look after itself. Let’s get started:
First and foremost seek advice. Having difficulty paying your bills can be stressful so get some advice. A good first port of call is your local citizens advice bureau, who will be able to give you advice on the options available to you and help you find a way forward.
Understand your bills
Make sure you know exactly what bills you’re currently paying, why, who to and for what services. Check your direct debits especially carefully to see if there are any services you’re paying for, but no longer receiving. Consider also, if there are any non-essential expenses you can cut down on – a magazine subscription or gym membership you’re not using for instance.
Utilise your home
Consider if there is any way you can utilise your home. If you have a spare room, think about taking in a lodger, as you can earn up to £7,500 tax-free by letting a furnished room in your house. The government website has some useful advice relating to taking in a lodger.
Another option to getting your home to earn its keep is to rent out the whole property. You’ll need to take a long hard look at the figures, including the vibrancy of the letting market in your local area and the additional bills you’ll face as a commercial landlord, such as landlord’s insurance. You’ll have to weigh up the relative merits of renting out your house as opposed to living in it yourself – including the additional costs you’ll have for your new accommodation.
If you’re having difficulty paying your bills, it might be that your best option is to sell your property. Selling your home may help you pay off your debts and make a fresh, debt-free start. You will incur some costs when selling your home, but if you shop around, you can reduce your costs.
Firstly, look around for a conveyancer who will act for you for a fixed price. Secondly, compare the relative fees of estate agents both in your local area and online. Don’t be afraid to haggle and don’t assume that the first fee an agent offers you is there best offer. Another option open to you is to consider a quick home sale company, you’re likely to achieve a lower price for your property, but the sale will typically go through smoothly and quickly, which may be just what you need. If you have a probate property to sell, there are specialist firms at hand to help you through the process.
Once a sale is confirmed, and a moving date is set, you can cut down on the costs of moving by packing and hiring a van yourself, rather than employing a professional removal company.
There you have the five key things you’ll need to consider if you’re struggling to pay your household bills, we hope you’ve found it useful.