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How to Organize Your Bills
Paying late fees on monthly bills can add up quickly and cost you a significant amount of money over the course of a year. It doesn’t make sense to pay additional money because you were disorganized and didn’t know your bill was due.
With the amount of mail and e-mail flowing into your home on a weekly basis, it can be easy to misplace a bill. And with a chaotic lifestyle and packed calendar, it can be easy to push bill paying aside. Setting up a system for bill paying that works for you can eliminate forgotten payments and late fees.
One single organization system won’t work for everyone. Here you’ll find a quick and easy system as well as a few suggestions to figure out how to make it work for you.
When a bill comes in, there are one of two things with it.
- Open the bill, go online to pay it right away, and then file it. If you have it scheduled as an automatic payment, just record it and file it. Taking care of it quickly and efficiently means you won’t miss the payment date and you’ll avoid any late fees.
- If you’re not going to pay the bill right away, don’t just throw it in a pile on the kitchen counter. You may lose it or miss the payment due date. Instead, check the due date, write a note on your calendar a few days before it’s due then place it in a “To Pay” file. As the due date approaches, you’ll see it on your calendar and pay it when it’s convenient.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making sure you pay your bills on time.
- Have a designated area for all the “To Pay” bills. It can be an accordion file, folder, 3-ring binder, or any other kind of filing system you prefer.
- Don’t be afraid to adjust your payment dates. If you have two large payments due around the same day each month and it impacts your finances too much, call and request a date switch for one of them so they are spread more evenly throughout the month.
- If you have multiple credit card payments, consider cutting back. If you have several cards because of the various reward programs, but you have trouble keeping track of paying them on time, then it’s time to rethink the number of credit cards you have. A late payment could easily wipe out any rewards you’ve earned.
- Communicate. If bill paying is not a shared responsibility, communicate with the non-bill paying member. Go through your finances regularly so the other party knows what’s going on and could take over the bill paying if need be.
The more organized you are with your monthly bills, the easier it will be to keep track of them and the more money you will save by avoiding late fees.