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QTips: What to do if your salary isn’t sufficient to pay your bills

If you are having a hard time paying for your basic expenses, it can be depressing and frightening. This can happen, especially if you have overextended yourself with debt. First, you need to find ways to reduce your expenses. There is almost always at least one more area that you can cut back in.

Remember Your Priorities. It is important that you cover your basic needs before you pay your creditors. This means that you have enough food to eat, a roof over your head and your utilities are on, then you pay your bills, and then you have fun.

Here is a short list to help you get through those tough times. In no way is it meant to be complete or the solution.

  1. The rent gets paid before everything else, including food. No matter how bad it is, no matter how difficult it seems, it is going to be much worse if you do not have a roof over your head.
  2. Anything you don’t have to have, get rid of it. This includes cable TV, Netflix, Hulu anything else that is a monthly suck. In Costa Rica, air TV is alive and well. You can even get channels not offered on cable.
  3. Always a large bulk item that you could buy when you were low on food before payday (in Costa Rica, for most it’s the 15th and 30th of each month) and you might have to live a few days with nothing else.
  4. YOU MUST HAVE MONEY COMING IN!!!. If your salary isn’t enough to cover your minimum expenses, you can ask for a raise, get another job that pays better or find an extra part-time job. Though the first rarely works. and the second difficult when the job market is low and your skill set is limited.
  5. As to job skill set, you need to concentrate on getting some job training, certification, education or something else that can get you a better job and more money. Don’t wait till you’re in a better situation, you have to do it now.
  6. Charity, Take whatever anyone is willing to give you. You LITERALLY cannot afford pride. If someone offers you money, put it in your pocket, smile and say “thank you”. Nothing wrong with keeping a mental inventory to later pay back or, better yet, pay it forward.

Have you had such an experience in Costa Rica? If so, how did you get through it? What advice do you have? Please use the comment section below or post to the Q’s official Facebook page.