Organized Bill Paying System-What's Due?
Are you organized with your monthly bill paying?
Do you regularly have late fees? Do you even know when all of your bills are due in order to avoid the late fees?
Being late on some bills, such as credit cards, can cost you a lot of extra expense in late fees, interest rates that experience a rate hike for the late payment, and all the added interest for all of that. Heaven forbid if it makes you go over your credit limit as well. That's more fees you now get to pay interest on.
Can you easily tell me what you electricity cost in March 2008? Do you know if you are paying more or less for items now than a year ago? Do you even know where all of your hard-earned money is going each month?
If you've got a good healthy cash flow and are well organized you might just pay all of your bills the day you get them in the mail. If you are one of these, I applaud you. If you're like many of us, you may have to be a bit more strategic with your payments and actually keep a close eye on things.
Time to Get Organized
Make this the year to get organized.
A few dollars spent now in preparation before January 1 can actually save you quite a bit if it keeps you from paying the unnecessary late fees and added interest I mentioned above.
There are lots of products on the market designed to help you stay organized. I used to purchase one of the "What's Due" type planners that you see in the photo above. This system has you write the name of the bill, the amount, and the due date. Each page is a pocket to hold the bill and its envelope until you pay it.
Some of the products available are a bit flimsy for how much I use them, so a few years ago I ran across a plastic folder at an office supply store that actually has 6 pages with pockets on both sides that gives me twelve pockets perfect for the twelve months of the year.
Then I created a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel that keeps up with the due dates, the bill names and the amounts. Since I've been keeping this system for several years now, I simply staple each printed spreadsheet together and slip it into the monthly pocket it belongs in. I can easily tell you what I paid for any bill during any month for the last four years. Periodically, I do check to see how much more or less I'm paying for a specific bill such as the water bill or electricity bill.
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