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How to pay your bills and determine which ones are most important

  • June 4, 2020
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

A question you might be experiencing these last few months is how to make sure to pay your bills in a way that aligns with what’s most important to you. Which monthly expenses do you want to choose to pay first, which can save you money and which could be managed differently?  

These are questions that many people are facing, especially those who have lost income or are motivated to review their expenses to better their situation.

To understand how to pay your bills by priority, start with reviewing any changes in your financial life. An unexpected change to income, for instance, can feel overwhelming and make keeping up with your current expenses a challenge. This time can be an opportunity to realign your expenses with your values.

If there have been changes in total household income, perhaps a family member is furloughed or laid off, the monthly outflow of expenses will be impacted, and having a plan will be important.

Planning in a Time of Crisis

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted many companies and lenders to extend various relief options, so communication is key to learn more about what is possible.

If you have a federally backed mortgage, for example, the CARES act says lenders must grant 180 days of forbearance – which means lenders give you a pause in your mortgage payment schedule for 180 days. Many non-federally backed mortgage issuers are providing similar options.

Other crisis-related regulations apply to debt, offering you added options for relief.

While the details of these options are important to understand, it is helpful to set a plan for your highest financial priorities and how you will pay your bills.

GreenPath counselors have regular conversations about these issues with the people who contact us, and we have a true understanding of the concerns and uncertainty people might be experiencing, especially during this time.

A Guide to Pay Your Bills

You are not alone in exploring new ways to pay your bills and prioritize your expenses.

With the input of GreenPath counselors and educators, a specially designed workbook aims to give a greater sense of ease and control when making choices of how you will spend the money you have.

The “Aligning Priorities” workbook gives you exercises and suggestions on a path forward to pay your bills and feel confident around your financial plan.

The workbook suggests clear steps to take to gain confidence over your money choices. These steps include:

  • Prioritizing your expenses and spending based on what you value.
  • Creating a short-term action plan based on your priorities and how you want to pay your bills.

Download the Workbook

The “Aligning Priorities” workbook may be helpful for people who have experienced a sudden change, such as loss of income.

The workbook is also helpful for those who desire more clarity on their short-term financial plan, and those who feel motivated to take action toward a goal, but aren’t quite sure where to start.

The workbook leads you through the key steps and considerations needed to get control over your situation and prioritize your spending.

Understand How to Pay Your Bills by Priority

GreenPath is a team of people from your community, committed to helping you ease financial stress and worry through access to clear information.

We envision a world where people are ready for life’s ups and downs. Take a moment to download this resource to help you strengthen your financial wellness.

Video walkthrough

After you’ve downloaded the workbook come back and view the helpful video below. Our learning experience designer Alexandra completes the entire workbook identifying her monthly priorities.