Do you forget to pay bills sometimes? I did. It seems to be one of the hazards of having small children.
Paychecks only came once every two weeks, so I couldn’t always pay them as soon as they came in. So they would have to wait.
And inevitably one or two would get misplaced and forgotten until the late notice came in the mail.
I just couldn’t seem to stay on top of them all. I struggled for years, feeling like a failure, trying to find an organization system that worked for me.
There are so many cool systems out there! I tried the monthly books with the pocket for all the bills. I tried the 31-day organizers with a slot to hold each bill on its due date. I tried marking due dates on the calendar and clipping the bills to it. And so-on, and so-on…
There were things I liked about each system I tried, but they all failed after a while because of all the little details that didn’t “work” for me.
It’s funny how hit-and-miss “systems” can be. And it’s funny how little you know about yourself and what works for you when you’re young. Like most things though, through trial and error and a little introspection, you find a combination that works for you. Here’s mine:
First off, may I say, electronic bill pay is a Godsend! That single feature alone has saved me a world of hassle and frustration! Most of my bills are delivered to me by email now, so there isn’t so much paper clutter to contend with anymore. But a few still come to me via snail mail.
My number one rule for bills is the same rule I have for junk mail: Handle it once. As soon as it hits my inbox or my mailbox, I open it and mark the due date and amount due on my calendar that I carry in my wallet. And since I pay all but one bill online, I can immediately throw it away. Bye-bye bill clutter.
When payday comes, I decide which bills to pay with it and cross them off my calendar as I pay them. Since I get paid twice a month on the same days each time, my bill budgeting has become so easy. I have arranged my due dates so that my total for all my bills is roughly the same for each paycheck, so I have the same amount left over each time, which makes all my other budgeting easier. TIP: Many companies allow you to choose your due date. Just give them a call!
Now I have no more bill clutter and no more late notices! What have you found that works for you?