8 things you should pay for - no matter what

couple looking worried about bills
couple looking worried about bills

Hard times make for hard choices -- especially when it comes to prioritizing which bills get paid, when what you have is not enough to cover all your expenses. But there are some bills it behooves you to keep high on the priority list. A Tennessee homeowner found out the hard way this month when his house caught fire and the firefighters arrived. All he could do was just stand there and watch as his home burned to the ground -- with his pets inside. The homeowner lived outside the city limits and had "forgotten" to pay a $75 annual fire service fee, which would have earned him the fire department's services, in what has since been dubbed a 'pay for spray' arrangement.

This situation presents a bizarre extreme, but it also serves as a grave reminder of the disastrous results that can arise from non-payment of several critical expenses. We're not talking about a ding on your credit report here -- these are eight items which, if not paid, can snowball into a world of hurt for you and your family.