If you operate as your family’s financial advisor then you are well aware that bills are lame. Yep. They bring anxiety, they’re annoying, sometimes overwhelming, but obviously they aren’t ending anytime soon. So let’s find a way to beat ’em at their own game and stay on top of it too!
Or at least I found a way that’s helped me decrease the amount of late bills and even put us in a spot where I plan bills out better to work on our debt. Maybe you’re familiar with this situation?
So onto how I organize and pay our bills!
You will need.at.the.least:
- Any and all of your incoming mailed bills that you plan to pay (or a list of ebills if you go the paperless route).
- Ideally a list of all your expected monthly bills (convenient free printable located here) to see the bills you have coming up. You’ll want to keep space for three columns – company, amount due, and amount paid (include confirmation numbers and dates for good record keeping).
- Not absolutely essential but obviously better for organizational purposes – a folder you can keep these bills and lists in separately from other mail.
- A pen! Pencil, crayon, marker – frankly IDGAF.
-Every month I use a new sheet for the month’s bills and I take that master list of bills and note when any paychecks/income will be deposited by inserting a green line – so I can have a clear idea of what that paycheck will be going towards.
-Every payday I go through and pay the necessary bills for that paycheck’s duties. (We get paid weekly – I know this is not usual, you can do the same for bi-weekly or monthly paychecks as well)
-As we receive bills, I discard and recycle any junk mail that comes with it and then add it to my “BILLS TO BE PAID” section of my folder. *Arrange them by due date so the top is the first to be paid*
When you are ready to organize the bills or pay them, grab all these items and get into “slay bill mode”.
- I log into our bank account first and view the account balance – noting how much is in there before I start paying bills. (Write down or open a calculator)
- I will go through recent withdraws and look for any automatic payments that should have come out from the last paycheck (Just to make touch base).
- I then grab my “BILLS TO BE PAID” bunch and starting at the top, I visit that company’s website and make the necessary payment. (To make log in’s easier, I also keep a master password log printable with this folder because there are way too many passwords to try to remember – you can get your own master password list here for free!)
- I note the date I am paying, how much I am paying them and any confirmation/receipt number they are issue me – I record these on the monthly bills list.
- I try to subtract every paid bill from my bank balance as I do them to keep in line with how much will be going out in bills this week. (I just pull up the calculator on my desktop or use my phone)
- As I finish and go through my pile of bills, leaving any on top that I chose not to pay this week but should be paid next week or are not due until later in the month.
- I will set a fully paid bill invoice into a box of papers I plan to shred every month – keeping those types of papers (with sensitive info) separate from my regular trash pick-up.
- I put away the folder of bill bullsh#t and turn on some Beyonce. – Adult Responsibilities Completed –
I should also like to note that I have the fewest amount of bills on auto-pay as I can. I can keep track of a few, but not 7 auto bills. I also like to receive the paper bills to have the actual bill in my hand in case of any errors or payments that didn’t go through. You know that crap happens from time to time….
This little routine has actually made it much easier to get a grip on our budget AND has helped me get over my little occasional habit of missing a bill. Keeping everything together is the key here, you need everything within an arm’s reach so that this process can be pain-free and somewhat quick. Once you get your usual routine of bills (‘Cause they are the same every month) – this process get’s faster and becomes second nature.
In some cases, I can see where upcoming weeks of bills will be significantly smaller than other weeks, and I can plan on paying extra towards any debts we are working on. Holiday pay, overtime, and any out of the normal yet expected income will serve usually go towards debt on week’s that upcoming bills seem somewhat heftier. This allows us somewhat of a cushion system since weekly paychecks aren’t always consistent amounts.
Our financial goals right now are to put ourselves at least 3 paychecks a head and I am trying to do this by paying bills early when I can and any extra when I am able to.
It took me a long long time to find a bill paying system that would work for our financial situation. Most people get paid bi-weekly and a lot of systems wouldn’t quite work right for us. This one has done me well thus far and as far as I can tell, the general idea would be applicable to any type of income frequency.
What types of systems of organization do you have for paying your bills? Do you miss a lot of due dates? Do you just throw all your bills into a shoe-box and go through them when you have the money?
Try implementing a folder and one or two of these lists into your bill paying routine and see how effective they are for keeping you on track.
No likes the overdue notices.
Don’t forget to pin your favorite printables to pinterest!