Five bills you don’t want to forget to pay

Paying the priorities to avoid losing your home, car, and more.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation in which there doesn’t seem to be enough money to cover all of the bills? Have you ever wondered how you should prioritize your monthly bills? The following list will help you prioritize your finances and ease the stress of guessing which payments should go first. 

  1. Bills related to housing – Mortgage and rent payments come first. Don’t forget about paying taxes, insurance, and any lot or condo fees that aren’t included in your monthly bill.
  2. Utility Services – Paying at least the minimum amount will avoid service shut off.
  3. Family necessities –Food, prepaid medical expenses, and other unavoidable expenses.
  4. Car loans/lease – If your car is essential for getting to work, make the payment! Additional vehicles could be sold if it’s possible to car pool.
  5. Child support – yes, this is important and does not go away. Failure to pay may include prison. 

It boils down to this simple question: what will I lose if I don’t pay this bill? If you don’t pay the above five items, you risk losing your house, car, utilities, food for your family, and you may end up in jail. If you still struggle with determining what’s important in your financial life, take this money values quiz

Remember that making financial changes takes time, patience, and discipline. Making changes that align with your values and personality make it more likely that you’ll stick to new goals and create positive habits. If you still find yourself struggling every month to make ends meet, reach out to a certified counselor in your area through Michigan State University Extension. We have a team of financial literacy educators and program instructors that can provide you with the tools and knowledge to get you back on track. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Also, check out our MI Money Health website for additional information. 

Michigan State University Extension has educators on staff to assist with financial literacy. To find an educator near you visit the MI Money Health website or call your county extension office. Michigan State University Extension has released a new toolkit for homeowners who are experiencing or have previously experienced foreclosure. This toolkit will equip these individuals and families with tools to help them recover their financial stability, in the case that a recovery of their home is not possible. The toolkit is available to download free at the MI Money Health website

Michigan State University Extension offers financial management and home ownership education classes. For more information of classes in your area, go to either the events page or MI Money Health.

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