How To Manage Your Monthly Bills
We could all use some help figuring out how to manage our bills every month. Most people look at paying bills as an ugly chore, I know I am one of those people. The truth is though, that bills are not going to go away and it is something that you have to do every month so there is no point in going at them with a bad attitude. Here are a few tips on how I manage bills:
I keep track of all our bills on an Excel spreadsheet. Each is listed with the name and type of bill it is (like Chase/Credit Card and Wells Fargo/Mortgage etc.). On the bills that get paid off like credit cards I always put the credit limit next to the name. Then I have 24 slots ready for bill pay, one for the 1st of the month and one for the 15th of the month. Then I fill all my slots as to what needs to be paid on each bill.
I always use the round up method when it comes to bills. If our electric bill was $142 one month, the next month I would round it up to $150 just to make sure I had that little extra just in case. Then if it was less then it's more money in the pocket at the end.
When I get the bills in the mail or online as most of them are these days I put in the correct amount due into the spread sheet and it automatically totals it at the bottom as to how much needs to come out of each paycheck and what will be leftover after the bills are paid.
Once bills come out of the bank account I go back to my spreadsheet and highlight all the paid ones with yellow that way I know what has and hasn't had a chance to come out of the bank.
One thing I've always had a hard time with when it came to paying bills is that they all seem to be due on or around the 1st of the month! This makes life difficult but it's not impossible to work with. I've found that a lot of companies out there are able to make changes to your due dates on your bills. Just calling and asking I was able to change our insurance and car payments to after the 15th that way it spread out the most expensive bills.
Also try this approach: Assuming the days you get paid are the 1st and the 15th you could take all of your bills that are due the 22nd of this month through the 6th of the following month and pay these on the 15th of this month. And on the 1st of next month you would pay the bills due from the 7th to the 21st of the same month. Doing it this way will still give each bill at least a week to get through the mail system. This way also helps streatch out the payments so they aren't all at one time.
Below is a link on how to set up a budget. There are several videos in this eHow link and it shows a lot of good tips.
Organizing Bill Pay and Budget
How to set a Budget
- How to Set a Budget: Video Series | eHow.com
Learn how to manage your money, including tips on bills, credit and expenses, in this free series of personal finance videos from our professional Certified Public Accountant (CPA).