Organizing and truly managing your bills is a task that many of us neglect to do, but it is a vital part of managing your personal finances. Water bill, electric bill, cell phone, internet and television, car payments, mortgages, and trash pickup are a fairly comprehensive list of my personal bills. What can be frustrating about bills is that some run on different cycles (such as monthly vs. quarterly) and some bill’s charge high fees if they are not paid via check or cash. There are several tips to help your bills get paid on time.
Move Your Due Dates to a Single Date
This can be time consuming, but is sometimes a vital step to get your bills in line. Sadly some companies are starting to charge fees to move your due date (which I find ridiculous).
Make a Chart of All of Your Bills
Generally a chart that shows your username/passwords, account numbers, and due dates is all you really need. You can add on a hotline for support if need be, but just get it on paper. Make sure to store this in a secure location. Also if you have passwords that you commonly use, try hiding them. For example if your password is always blueberry123& you could record the password on the chart as “b——–1—&.” This adds another layer of protection for your chart.
Avoid Sending Checks, Pay the Transactions Fees to Pay Via Credit Card
My yearly auto insurance bill is approximately $600 and they run a $7 fee to process credit cards. You can send it via mail to avoid this fee, but why would you! My credit card gives 2% cash back, $600 * 2% = $12 cash back! It can be frustrating for small bills, but usually its not worth your time. My water bill is approximately $30 a month with a service charge of $3 for my credit card. That is 10%, but I get back 2% and I don’t have to pay for a stamp or waste my time preparing a check. I get approximately $1 of that back through the cash back and saving the stamp.
$2 is worth it to me to avoid checks, stamps, and the hassle. Also, I have a better record of it via credit card and there is no lost mail risk.
Tally Up Your Bills At The End of Every Month
It sounds so simple, because it is! Reconcile everything you do and you will have a much better grasp on your personal finances!