Get Organized and Streamline Your Bill Paying Sessions
The fact that paying bills is not one of your favorite activities is actually an excellent reason to get organized and streamline your bill paying sessions. If you haven’t taken advantage of paying your bills online, you need to. By creating a routine and maintaining a location to take care of all bill related activities, you’ll find the entire process is shortened and becomes less stressful. A regular weekly payment session and singular storage location will also eliminate missed payments or lost bills. Utilizing paperless bills and automatic payment options will further simplify the process.
Designate a Place in Your Home to Pay and Store Bills
Instead of randomly placing bills around your home or storing them in your purse, wallet, car, etc., designate a location where you’ll keep all of your paper bills together. Ideally, this will be a space with an open table or desk containing: 1) a file to hold paperwork in an organized way (by order of due date is excellent), 2) materials to pay bills (pens, envelopes, stamps), and 3) a computer to check online balances. It’s a great idea to write the due date of any opened bill on the outside of the envelope in which it came to simplify the payment process. When the time comes to pay those bills, you’ll know exactly where they are and will avoid missing one or more payments.
Create a Weekly Time Slot to Pay Bills
Set aside one time slot per week to pay your bills. Even if you aren’t paid weekly, chances are excellent that you’ll have one or more bills due over the course of the next seven days. Make sure you have enough funding to cover any checks going out that week and move money from one account to another if needed. Provided you have marked the outside envelopes of your bills with their due date and have kept them in order, this weekly process should take a only a few minutes and will simplify your life.
Go Paperless and Set Up Automatic Payments
Perhaps one of the easiest methods to simplify the bill paying process is to go paperless and shift to automatic payments that directly draw from your checking or saving account(s) on the due date for each bill (or any pre-determined date you choose). You’ll still need to maintain your weekly bill paying session to open and review electronic billing notices and ensure that you have enough funding in your account(s) for any upcoming bills, but you’ll never need to write another check or open another paper envelope containing a bill. You may even be able to choose the recurring date to have payments drawn from your account(s), allowing you to wait until right after payday for extra ease in your routine.
How I reduced my financial stress
I use one credit card for all utilities, memberships and recurring automatic payments and another card for everyday spending such as gas, lunches coffee and anything I haven’t planned for. This has reduced the amount of bills to pay each month down to two. Plus, I never need to worry about overdraft fees or compromising my checking account. An additional perk is that I get rewards on all purchases made using the cards. It’s not for everyone, and it critically important to pay the balances off each month. But for me, it’s made my financial life much easier to manage.
What system do you use? Let me know in the comments section below.