Have a spending plan. It’s always easier to pay when you have the money allocated!
Use Automatic Payments. Direct payments help you pay your key bills on-time. The money is automatically transferred for your payment on the date you choose. This works best when the monthly amount remains the same. Be cautious to keep careful records and track to be sure the payments are made on time.
Use a Home Finance Center. Your center can be a file cabinet or plastic box. The important thing is that you keep all your pending financial paperwork in a central location. If you already have a Center, the beginning of the year is a good time to remove old records and place them in storage.
Keep your all pending bills in the Home Finance Center. As your mail arrives, sort it and place your pending bills in your Center. Keep them together so you can pay them without having to search many locations.
Choose regular days monthly to pay bills. You might like to do it on the 7th and 22nd of each month, or every Thursday night. With a system, you won’t need to drop everything to pay a bill.
Keep bill-paying supplies in your Home Finance Center. Speed up your bill-paying efforts by keeping the bills and supplies in the same place. You’ll need your bill storing system, checkbook, envelopes, stamps, pens, pencils, a calculator, tape, a stapler and return-address labels.
Prepare envelopes for recurring bills. For bills that recur every month not on direct payment, save time by preparing a bunch of envelopes for each beforehand.
Immediately record your paid bills. As soon as you pay each bill, record the payment in your check register or computer software. If you wait until later, there's a good chance you will forget. Be certain you have entered the amounts of automatic payments from your account. Penalty for forgetting could be hefty overdrawn account fees.
Immediately store paid invoices and receipts. Once you pay your bills, mark your copy of the invoice with the date paid, the check number and the amount paid and put them in your Home Finance Center.
Organize your cancelled checks and checking account statements. Every month when you will receive checking account statements, immediately place them in your Center. Choose a monthly date to reconcile your account. Then, keep your statements and cancelled checks all together in your Home Finance Center for the year. You’ll be able to retrieve them later when tax season rolls around.
Condense your credit cards. The more credit cards you have, the more difficult it is going to be to keep them organized. Whenever possible, condense your many credit cards into two or three credit cards, and get rid of the rest. It will make bill paying much easier.
This information is provided by:
Money Management International of Massachusetts (MMI of Mass)
January 2004 – Volume Five, Issue One
For more information or to discuss financial concerns please contact Partners Employee Assistance Program at 1-866-724-4EAP.
In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service.
This content was last modified on: 03/16/2011