Financial hardship in invoicing


I’ll keep this as non-specific and vague as possible. Having worked for myself, with family, and for businesses, there are certain clients who won’t pay invoices on time. Or ever. I probably shouldn’t make this public, but I’ve generally been poor at chasing people for payment. I figure they have their reasons.

Some people are just pricks, or cheapskates, or figure they can get away with not paying. Others have tough financial decisions and decide for entirely understandable self-preservation they’ll pay bills for mortgages or touchy suppliers before their more chill ones.

But then there are others who claim financial hardship.

I can empathise. There were times, especially during family medical events, where money was tight and I couldn’t pay bills. Going to bed knowing you’re going to be getting angry people in your life is gut wrenching in a way few other experiences are.

In those cases though, I contacted people, explained my situation, and asked if I could either delay a payment, or work out a payment plan. Almost all of them were happy to oblidge, and appreciated that I reached out before my account was overdue and they had to chase me. And for the few that weren’t, I wasn’t any worse off than before.

What I’m beginning to resent, unfortunately, are people who don’t pay for months at a time, then only claim financial hardship when you ask.

Part of that is knowing that most were outright lying to me, and using it as a stalling tactic. Having lived through those aforementioned family events, may bees nest in your armpits if you claim your partner has cancer when they don’t.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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