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How To Be Okay When You Can’t Pay Rent On Time

Updated on April 29, 2019
Emily August profile image

I’m going to tell you about the first time I knew I couldn’t pay rent on time and what I did, also what I should’ve done.

The Steps To Getting Over It

Step #1: Accepting Your Fate


You’re probably thinking, thanks genius my stress is gone, but for me specifically this was my hardest problem. In my last few hours I contemplated every single scenario I could think of to get out of this situation. On my bathroom floor at 10:00 pm, phone turned off and far away from me, I did the last thing I thought I would ever be able to do - I took a deep breath and told myself I didn’t have the money and I couldn’t get it.

You can’t do anything else, you’re not going to pay rent on time, and that’s that.


Step #2 Turn Off Your Phone


As mentioned in step 1, I turned my phone off. There are a few reasons I did this, I live with two other roommates, my best friends, and they had been reminding me I needed to pay it. One of them had repeatedly told me I had to figure something out (I couldn’t) and he was texting up a storm.

Another reason, most of the ways I tried to sum up the money I tried to do it on my phone, and all of those paths were a dead end. My phone’s screen was just a bright failure sign. Turn off your phone and the only reminder you’re left with is in your mind.


Step #3 Listen To Music


If you’ve tried this and you’re still too distracted, you just haven’t found the right song. Music is, in my opinion, the best distraction. Put in your earphones or turn on a radio, close your eyes, put yourself somewhere else. With music you can get anywhere you want that’s not your bathroom floor, filled to the brim with anxiety.

Another way you can use music to your advantage, put on a melancholy song and be sad for a little bit. It won’t kill you.


Step #4 Cry


Denial, while unhealthy, is so easy but sometimes it feels better just to let reality hit and let yourself fall apart to build yourself back up stronger than before. Let yourself cry, sob, be upset. No one’s around and even if they are, they’re going to forget about it by tomorrow. You feel helpless and it’s okay to show that you do.


Step #5 Get ice cream


I shouldn’t have to explain this step, use whatever money you do have to get it or if you’re lucky just fish it out of your freezer. Why not waste money it on ice cream? It’s not like you’re going to use it for rent.


Step #6 Watch a Disney Movie


Remember the simpler times of watching them as a child? Grab a seat, your ice cream, and the remote. Me? I got my laptop from my room and went back to the bathroom and set it up on the toilet seat. I never said this wasn’t going to be one of the lowest moments of your life.


Step #7 Find Your Pet


If you have an animal in your house make sure you’re near it. In middle school and high school I used to get bad panic attacks and one of the very few things that got me through them was my cat Moose.

He is a very unfriendly and skittish cat, never a cuddler. But he knew when I was upset and he used to come in the bathroom with me and sit next to me. He never did anything else but I think I would have had a much harder time if he wasn’t there.

Even if you can’t stand your animal, just be near them and let yourself feel better.


Step #8 This Step Is Only For People of Fandoms


Read fanfiction.


Step #9 Get Lost


Take a walk, go to a park or your parking lot or your neighborhood. Just walk somewhere, get out of your head and distract yourself with everything around you. In your apartment or home you’re surrounded by things you see everyday.

Your brain focuses on what it thinks is important, for instance you’re reading this article and not even noticing how the fabric of your clothes feels on your skin because it’s always there. The same goes for the space around you, if you’re in a new place and you don’t know where you are or what is around you then hopefully your problems won’t be at the front of your mind.

And don’t plan where you're going, try to not even know where you’re going, just explore.


Step #10 Call Your Mom


I wish this was the first thing I thought of. Call your mom or your dad or whoever was a parental figure in your life if you can and just hear them talk. Ask how they’re doing if you’re too embarrassed to talk about money.

My parents are in their forties, my mother has been paying bills and rent since she was sixteen, my father eighteen, they’ve been where i’ve been. They still do all of this, daily. Now they live in their nice house, they have grown (sort of) functioning children, and they still don’t pay a lot of bill on time.

They didn’t pay the phone bill for a few days because they didn’t have the money and so when I tried to switch my phones I couldn’t because the bill wasn’t paid, they went to see a movie together that week after telling me the bill couldn’t be paid yet.

And while that may not have been setting the best example, it actually was. They’re still breathing and eating and have a roof over their heads.

If you can get to even a third of this mindset after reading this article then I applaud you because it took me a very long time to navigate my way through these stages of grief for my poor roommates and landlord. (Refer to the last sentence of step #1)

Take A Deep Breath

© 2019 Emily August

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    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander Reno 

      11 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      This is an interesting article.

      I've been in that place many times over the years. I think the biggest thing to remember is not to panic. Everything always works out. Sometimes we might not like the way things work out, but they do.

      Fortunately, my rent is mostly paid on time, now days, and I still have a little cash for fun!

      Namaste

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