Paying your bills on time monthly is a delicate balancing act since it's easy for a bill to slip through the cracks. This is especially true if it's not a bill you expect. Learn simple and easy strategies to keep your bills organized and on track.
Create a Bill Paying Space
Whether you use digital bill paying or the paper method, you need to have a designated area in your home for organizing bills. This bill-paying space could be a designated desk, room, phone, or even a drawer. All your bills need to be found in this area. This is true for both digital bills and bills through the mail. So, you can print or scan bills as needed to ensure everything is collected in the same area.
It can also be helpful to use a digital or printable monthly bill organizer to keep in your space to ensure you keep track of all new bills. This way, you can add new bills as they come in. And if you keep all your bills in one area, you can ensure you aren't losing or missing any.
Sort and List Your Bills
Once you have everything together, the next step is to make a list of all your bills. Be sure you list recurring bills, with average payments if possible, as well as one-time bills. Include due dates for all bills. You can group these into different categories like mortgage, utilities, car payments, etc. You'll also want to budget for and expect unexpected bills like hospital bills or car repairs. One easy way to organize and sort your bills is to look at your bank statements.
Schedule Time for Bills
Daily routines are tight. It's hard to find time for bills with work, activities, and life happening around you. However, like regular cleaning, you need to set time aside every week or even every day to open and organize all your digital and mailed bills. This helps you stay on top of random bills and ensure every bill meets the due date. For example, you would use this time to open and organize all the bills that came in by mail, check on autopay bills, and add new bills to your budget.
Make sure to set a schedule that works for you and that you can stick to. For example, some people might find that payday is the easiest day to organize and pay bills. In contrast, others might like to do it on Monday to start their week.
Track Bills Easily
While many people are successful with 31-day planners or creating a monthly spreadsheet, you can also try digital organizers. For example, many banks offer services to set up and track bills through their online banking app. Therefore, you can set up your monthly bills and have the bank pay them automatically on a designated day. This allows you to track and pay bills, so nothing gets lost. You can also add unexpected bills as they come in the mail. Many find this helpful since all your bills are in one place, and you can organize and manage bills as you need to. If your bank doesn't have a bill center, try downloading a free online app on your computer or phone.
Try a Fee-Based Bill Paying Service
If you find that organizing bills isn't your forte, then hire a service to do it for you. Several apps and services can organize and pay your bills for a small fee. For example, Paytrust offers a bill-paying center for a small fee. You simply add your accounts and log in your bills. The service will then set up payments for you. This can be helpful for everyone, from families to small business owners.
Most of the time, you have to set up your bills for the first month, then the service can pay them for you. You also have the option to edit and monitor your bills at all times. The app also has the option to scan in pay mailed bills to add.
The Importance of Organizing Bills
No matter how many or how few bills you have, it's important to make bill paying manageable, trackable, and easy for you. When you struggle to remember what you have paid or not paid, you run the risk of late fees, disconnected services, and bad credit, which can cost you more in the long run.
Organizing your bill-paying begins with understanding your cash flow - both the money coming in and the money going out. Organizing your finances is an ongoing task, but like deep cleaning your house, once you have set up the framework, you should only need to maintain regular updates. Designate a certain amount of money each week for unforeseen expenses (eating lunch out, for example), gasoline, grocery, and other miscellaneous expenses. These are not bills per se, but they can impact your bill-paying efforts if you do not keep track of them. You can also try a few budgeting tips like:
- Avoid overspending by using cash only for minor or miscellaneous expenses.
- Designate savings funds to be used only in emergencies.
- Creating a system for paying down high-interest bills like credit cards.
Organizing Bills With Ease
Learning how to organize bill paying is a difficult and time-consuming task initially. However, the investment of time and effort pays off by becoming easy to maintain and keeping your money management on track.