I think most of us can agree that we all want more money than we currently have. I know if I had more cash, I’d put it to good use by taking more vacations, buying tickets to more sporting events and playing a lot of golf.
Of the three things I would spend my extra cash on, exactly zero of them can be counted as necessities. As much as I wish taking vacations or going to sporting events was deemed necessary, I’ve come to realize that’s just not realistic. While it would be nice to have money to spend on extracurricular activities, what happens when you run out of money to pay for things that actually are essential?
When it comes to bills, I have to pay for rent, utilities, and my car, among many other paycheck-hogging bills. Luckily for me, I’m able to pay for such things. However, that wasn’t the case a short time ago. Have you ever thought about which bills are most important? If a personal financial disaster occurred and you only had a limited amount of money, which bills would you pay off first?
If you have no idea how to answer the question, don’t worry. It took me a while to figure it out myself. I’ve done all the work for you below.
Groceries. When I began compiling my list, for some reason I didn’t think of something as obvious as food until I was about halfway through. However, it’s impossible to live without it. How could such a necessity slip my mind? If you find yourself in a financial bind, it would be extremely beneficial to do without fast food and eating out. When putting money aside, your top priority should be for groceries for you and your family.
Household necessities. When I moved away to college, I completely underestimated the cost of household necessities. I was so used to having items such as toothpaste, laundry detergent and soap at my house that I was lost when I ran out of such items. These are just a few of the things that are essential to keep a household running.
Shelter. Whether you rent or pay a mortgage, paying for a roof over your head is something that can’t be ignored. For me, it was the first bill that came to mind. Some landlords allow tenants a few extra days to pay at the beginning of each month although you’re better off just paying it to avoid any problems.
Insurance. I very rarely get sick. I haven’t visited the doctor in over three years. Even if you think cutting your high monthly premiums on your insurance is a good way to save money, it’s not the way to go. It’s an expensive risk that could come back to haunt you. What if on the off chance you did get really sick or got in a car accident? If you’re trying to figure out which bills to pay over the others, you probably can’t afford to pay for these expenses without insurance, right?
Car payments? For many of us, a car is essential in accomplishing everyday tasks such as getting to work, taking kids to school and grocery shopping. Whether you bought a car or are leasing one, it’s important to keep up with your payments. If you fall behind, the bank could repossess the vehicle, creating an assortment of other problems for you.
Phones. In the world of technology we live in, it seems like everyone has a cell phone. It’s the easiest way to get in contact with people. If you ever found yourself in a situation that it was necessary to contact someone (car problems, health-related, or keeping in touch with kids), how would you call someone if you didn’t pay your bill? Many people are taking the route of canceling their landline phone, which is a way to help save money.
Loans with collateral. If you put your house or your car down as collateral, it’s imperative you stay up-to-date with your loan payments. If you fall behind, the bank has the right to take possession of anything you listed as collateral, which will make your problems exponentially worse.
Internet and cable. Before you judge me, let me preface this by saying I’m a DIEHARD sports fan. However, if I ever found myself in a situation where I didn’t have a choice, Internet and cable would have to be something that was far down on my list of payments that had to be made. I’m on the go a lot anyways, so I could always use my smartphone to keep track of all my favorite teams.
When you find yourself in a financial bind, some expenses are just more important than others. There can’t be any comparison between paying for necessities such as food or paying for something like Internet and cable. Some things are just more vital than others.