Whether it’s because of a busy month or a lack of funds, anyone can have difficulty paying their bills. When that happens, it can be tempting to bury your head in the sand and hope things will get better in time. However, the best thing you can do is act now and address the situation head on.
Whatever your personal circumstances are, there are plenty of places that can help you pay bills and give you the support you need to get your finances back on track.
Keep reading our guide for help with utilities and staying on top of your finances.
Water bill assistance – before you miss a payment
Acting before you miss your monthly payment could help you avoid late fees, build more of a relationship with your billers and show them that you’re proactive and trustworthy.
There are several ways you can avoid missing your water bill payment and stay on top of your finances, these include:
- Contact the biller – if you speak to your water provider as soon as you know you’re going to struggle to meet your monthly bill, they may be able to extend your deadline or freeze any late payment fees.
- Look up local government support you may be entitled to – if you’re likely to miss future energy bill payments, check with your local government about to see if you’re eligible for grants such as the Low Income Payment Program or the H2O Help to Others Program.
- Get a water conservation audit – you can work with a local organization to find ways of reducing your water usage and cutting down your bill, to make it more affordable in the future.
- Ask your biller about water bill assistance programs – most water companies will want to work with their customers to keep them. If you speak to them about your concerns with meeting your payments, they may be able to spread your costs on a monthly basis or offer a loyalty discount, if you’ve been a customer for a while.
- Speak to local charities – your local church or Salvation Army may be able to offer you some financial support, to help you cover the cost of your water bill.
Water bill assistance – when you’ve missed a deadline
If unexpected expenses occur and you miss a water bill deadline, it’s not too late to take action. There are still steps you can take to limit the problem before it escalates.
Try to contact your biller as soon as possible, once you realize your deadline has passed. That way you can work to find a solution that works for both parties before the situation worsens.
Once you realize you’ve missed a bill deadline you should:
- Contact the biller – if you speak to your water supplier, they may be able to extend your deadline or at least freeze any late payment fees. Try and suggest a new deadline, so they have an idea of when you’ll be able to pay the bill in full.
- Pay what you can – offering to pay a chunk of your missed bill now can help put you in a better position with your provider. It means you owe them less and shows you’re willing to work with them to find a solution. Once you’ve paid what you can, they may be able to set up a payment plan to help you pay the rest of your bill.
- Budget your spending – if you find yourself struggling with money for the month, make a list of all your expenses. Highlight the priorities, like your utilities, rent and food, then look at non-essentials, to see if you can make spending cuts elsewhere.
- Look for support – if you’re concerned you might need help paying your bills again, it may be time to seek support. Government programs like the the H2O Help to Others Program, the Low Income Payment Program or charitable organizations like the Salvation Army, might be able to assist you with your water bill.
Tips to help pay water bills on time
When life gets busy and finances get tight, it can be tricky to keep up with your monthly water bills. Here are our top tips to help you meet the deadlines on your water bill payment.
- Be proactive – keep an eye on your finances and flag problems before they arise. This way, you’re more likely to build a positive relationship with your biller and may be able to work out a solution, such as freezing fees or extending your deadline.
- Find a way of paying bills that works for you – if there’s a particular Kroger Family of Stores you pass on your way to work or where you do your grocery shopping, make that your designated bill paying location. If you prefer to pay online, see if your biller has an app or website that lets you pay bills without going into a store.
- Try and make bill payment part of your routine – because you can pay your bills, do your grocery shopping, cash checks and send money orders from our Kroger Family of Stores, it’s easy to build paying your bills into your routine. Combining several of your errands into one trip could really help you organize your bill paying.
- Set reminders – if you know you’re likely to need a bit of a nudge each month, try setting yourself reminders. Consider leaving notes on your fridge or download a reminder app on your phone, to let you know when your bills are due.
- Set up direct debits – some billers will let you set up direct debits using your credit or debit card. Your bill payment will then come out of your account automatically on a day you choose, so you never miss a deadline. Just make sure you have enough money to cover the payments when they’re due.
Building water bill payments into your routine is just one of the ways that you can manage your money and keep everything on track.
If you find you need help with your water bills, there are several organizations out there who can offer you assistance. Help is out there, so seek it out if you’re struggling to pay your water bill on time.
Find your local store for a reliable and easy location to pay your bills, with Kroger Money Services.