ORGANIZE YOUR HOME BILLS WITH THESE 7 TIPS AND TRICKS
Paying bills isn’t a favorite chore for anyone, but it’s a fact of life that can’t be ignored. Not paying bills on time can lead to substantial financial penalties in some cases, so it’s important to have an organized system that enables you to pay everything on time without hassle. Use the seven tips and tricks to organize your home bills below to make this chore as easy and efficient as possible.
1. A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING, AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE.
You’ve probably heard this saying before, but its meaning is especially true where bill paying is concerned. How can you make sure all your bills are paid on time if you don’t know where they are?
Dedicate a specific area for placing your bills as they arrive in the mailbox. Ideally, this will be the same place you actually sit down to pay the bills and balance your checkbook so you don’t have to transport anything from one spot to another. If you always place the bills in the same spot, you’ll always know where to find them when it’s time to pay them.
2. SCHEDULE TIME TO PAY BILLS
Whether you pay bills every week, bi-weekly, or once a month, schedule a dedicated time to do so. When you set aside a specific time/date to pay your bills, you can plan accordingly so that nothing else interferes and your focus is on the task at hand. Do your best to stick to your schedule so you can get the job done and not have to worry about whether a bill is past-due or not.
3. OPEN EACH AND EVERY BILL
Many people think if they don’t open a bill, they won’t have to face the potential bad news inside. But what if the news is good? Maybe you over-paid a doctor bill, and they’re sending you a refund check. Not opening every piece of mail that comes to your mailbox or email could mean you miss something important. Having piles of unopened bills (even if you’re behind on them and have several copies of each) does not depict an organized bill-paying system.
4. SORT YOUR BILLS BY DATE
Sort all your bills by their due date. This way, you’re more apt to pay the ones due the soonest first. As soon as you get a bill in the mail, open it up and place it in the appropriate slot according to the date it is due. When it’s time to sit down and make out bills, you’ll know at a glance, which ones have to go out first.
5. DON’T FORGET ABOUT ONLINE BILLS
Many people prefer to pay some or all of their bills online. In fact, some people even have certain bill payments automatically withdrawn from their bank accounts so they don’t have to worry about them. While technology definitely makes things easier when it comes to bill paying, you must be even more vigilant with bill management if you pay your bills online. During your weekly/monthly bill pay sessions, it’s important to:
•Ensure you have enough money in your account to pay your online bills
•Check for emails with important information concerning your online bills, and
•Write down any confirmation numbers you receive when you pay your bills online in case there’s any discrepancies with the payments.
6. ORGANIZE YOUR BILLS AFTER PAYING THEM
You might be tempted to throw away paid bills, but it’s important you hang on to them in case you need to reference them again in the future. File the paid bills and receipts away in a filing cabinet, keeping like bills together and in order.
7. CLEAR OUT OLD BILLS
Once a year, go through your file cabinet and get rid of all the old bills from the year before. This helps keep the accumulation of papers to a minimum and makes room for the next year’s paid bills. Be sure to shred anything that contains personal information before disposing of it.