Good financial organizing requires being organized about paying bills. Bill paying is a necessary evil for us. It’s not fun! (It’s not fun ever!) Sometimes it’s scary because we may not have enough money to pay bills. Sometimes it’s complicated because income comes in at a different time than bills come in. Sometimes it’s just so much going on it’s hard to keep up with every thing.
We try to find the easiest way to pay our bills on time. (Paying your bills on time increases your credit score, which is linked to credit extended by banks, mortgage companies and other loans.) There are lots of different ways to pay bills. Choose what’s best for you.
Bill paying starts with a great system and routine. Think of bill paying as a process with steps. Follow these three steps and add in your own personal touches to make bill paying easier and less stressful.
Step 1: Keep all your bills together
- Gather the bills in your command center. I recommend getting the paper bills as a reminder you need to pay them. Bills can get “lost” in your email. Place them where you will see them, just so you remember to pay them.
- Keep a list of your bills so that you know what you pay and when you pay. If you pay everything online, this list is especially helpful to see.
Step 2: Establish a system that works for you
- At times these systems can overlap, but generally find one that works best for you. Also have one as a back up, in case there’s an oops.
- Pay by check. Order 2 sets of checks at a time so you always have checks. Place the checks together with stamps, envelopes and pens.
- Pay online through your bank. Print out the consolidated receipt.
- Pay automatically with a bank account or credit card. Review your accounts monthly to be sure everything is paid correctly.
- Pay by phone. Create a list of account numbers and phone numbers for each account.
- A bill tracker ledger helps you remember when bills are due, the amounts and if you paid them.
Step 3: Establish a routine that works for you
- Our lives are busy! However, a routine is what keeps your bill paying from becoming chaotic and late. Choose just one routine and practice, practice, practice.
- Pay bills each day as arriving. Open the envelope and write the paid date on the bill.
- Pay bills weekly on a certain day each week. Consolidating bill paying saves time.
- Pay ahead double the amount. This can get tricky, so be sure you keep a list of how much you paid when.
- Set a weekly time to work on money. No matter which routine you choose, have a regular time to check your bank balance and credit card statements helps you adhere to your budget.
- Use an app for tracking your bills. This helps you keep your routine going.
After you have completed bill paying, you can file all the bills in one box labelled with the year. It’s the easiest, fastest way to keep up with these papers. The box can be in your office, easy to access. It’s just that simple!
Have some tricks or tips to your bill paying?
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