That's a very real tendency among the poor to pay their bills this way. Not because they're stupid but rather because the pressure for bill payments is psychotically aggressive due to perception, prejudice, and their limited options. Finances are always precarious and unforeseen expenses means that money might not all be there at the end of the month even with scrupulous budget management. Even being right on time is for some absolutely insane reason too late for the liking of people who expect payment and they're prone to preemptive punitive measures so paying whatever is possible ahead of time might stave that off temporarily. What's more when you're dirt poor you often have to choose between what bills you're even capable of paying and pray for clemency hoping a partial payment is better than none and you'll still have water until you can rotate your payments to that utility because you only have enough right now to catch up on the electricity. When the choice is between getting gouged over time and losing everything immediately including the ability to actually earn future income as being homeless, filthy, and starving is somewhat detrimental to holding a job it's not really the no-brainer you pretend it is. Even as a white man who was never late or short for his rent I've personally experienced scare tactics from a scummy landlord and there's a gulf of difference between the results of me lodging a legal complaint as a white guy living in Canada than there would be for anyone darker than a caramel living the U.S. and a total lack of consequence for targeting minorities (outright encouragement in today's political clime) emboldens people to the point where you could almost codify it as an industry standard.