IGNORING bills and mounting household financial stress should not be a first choice, says financial counsellor Margaret Clements from the CQ Financial Counselling Service.
With 10% of Central Highlands' rate payments still outstanding as of May 9, Ms Clements reminded residents that acting early was the most effective solution to manage any debt.
"It's no good putting your head in the sand and pretending it's not happening,” she said.
"Every home owner knows they have a rates bill, just like our electricity or registrations. We know they're coming up but we tend not to put the money away.”
Ms Clements said big life events, such as illness, loss of employment or the breakdown of a relationship, were the main catalysts for financial stress.
"We understand it can happen to anyone, but what we do ask is please don't leave it to get worse and worse,” she said.
"Come see us and we can look at your options in an objective, non-judgmental environment.”
The CQ Financial Counselling Service offers free counselling for anyone wanting to address their financial situation.
"We are a non-means tested, free service based in Rockhampton, but we also service the Blackwater and Emerald area regularly,” Ms Clements said.
To make an appointment call 4928 1844.