Are you looking for some ideas to organize bills more efficiently?
We all have bills and we all have to pay them, preferably on time. To do that, you need to have a good method for organizing your bills. There are several ways to do that. Here are a few tips to help guide you to setting up the right way for you to organize bill paying.
Read Your Mail Daily
You need to go through your mail every day. Don’t let it stack up in piles. That’s a sure way to miss paying a bill on time. I know for me, I look forward to getting my mail each day. I then sort it right by the garbage can and toss away the junk and go through the rest more intently while relaxing at the table. Be sure to look at all your bills for accuracy. Then, put those bills immediately into the “Bills to Be Paid” area you designate.
Designate a “Bills to Be Paid” Area
This can be any number of things, a folder, binder, shoe box, you name it. I used to use a small filing rack, the type for incoming and outgoing mail to organize bills. I put all my bills in it that were due, in the order that they were due. I marked on the envelope of the bill in big letters the due date and the amount that was due so I wouldn’t have to open it again just to see that information. Currently, I use a family binder that has a section for bills due along with a pen, my checkbook, stamps and return address labels. When I sit down to pay my bills, everything is right there making it easy to complete the job in one sitting. There are many options out there, so have a look around for the best way for you to organize bills.
Set up a Bill Paying Day
Organize bills to be paid on the same day each week. That’s usually enough time to pay any bills before it gets too late. To make your bill paying session as efficient as possible, make sure you have everything you need before you get started. I take my binder with the bills and all my mailing tools and pay bills at the computer where I also have my money management software, internet service and a calculator. I pay the bills and prepare them to be mailed and put them by the outgoing mail for the following day. Done! Any new bills I receive then go into the “Bills to be Paid” area until next week.
Actually Paying the Bills
It’s best if one person is in charge of organizing your bills so that things don’t get confusing and bills don’t get paid, or get double paid! After I pay a bill, I write the following on the bill: the date it was paid, the amount, and the check number or confirmation number given by the bank’s online bill paying system. If you’re writing a check, be sure your account number is on the check for identification purposes. I then file my paid bills into their appropriate files that I set up as part of my Home Filing System. I also update my money management program to reflect that it’s been paid. Now, they’re paid and I have a record of my transaction filed away nicely should I need it.
Consider Paying Bills Online
It took me a long time to come around to paying my bills online through my bank! I actually enjoyed the therapeutic time it took to write out checks, address envelopes and balance my checkbook. Doing it online is so quick now, there is no time to linger in the joy of being able to pay my bills! But I have to say, it’s so terribly convenient! And I don’t have to pay for stamps! It also makes it so much easier to look up bank statements, previous bills paid, etc. If you’re able to do it, I say go for it!
Plan for Upcoming Bills
If you’re like many people, you’re probably living on a tight budget. I know there are times when I get a little nervous knowing there are a bunch of bills coming and I want to verify there is going to be enough money available. My favorite tool is Microsoft Money. I am using quite an old version and I don’t even use most of the features that it’s capable of. But I LOVE that I can see when bills are coming and how much they typically are. I can also see when we expect to get paid next. As long as I keep this up to date I can check on our financial future with a quick peek. I also love the ability to run reports and check to see how much we spent on something in the past year. This comes in very handy when trying to update our budget. If you can afford it, get some sort of money management software that helps you to organize your bills, if for nothing more than a reminder system. Though they offer you so many more features if you want to use them.
Paying your bills is only one aspect of responsibly managing your money. If you need additional information regarding successful money management please visit Delmae over at My Home Based Business. She covers information regarding taxes, debt reduction and retirement planning.
These suggestions should get you started on a way to organize bills in a manner that’s easy for you to keep up. Stick with your method and you shouldn’t have to worry about unpaid bills or late fees again!