There are two different methods I use because I pay some bills with a check and others using my credit card. If paying with a check, when the bill comes in the mail, immediately upon opening it I write a check and get the envelope ready. On the inside of the envelope flap, I write the date it is to be mailed (allowing about 3-4 days mailing time) and put the stamp on the envelope. I place this envelope a plastic mail holder that has 31 different slots; one day for each day of the month (example: #25 for the 25th of the month).
When that day arrives, I know to mail that envelope, so seal it and mail it. I don't mail until then because I don't want the funds drawn out of my account until necessary, allowing me to draw interest on that money, not the company collecting my check.
If it is a credit card I am paying the bill with, I simply put that bill in the slot on the day I am to call and pay that bill. When the call is completed, I make a note on the bill of the day it was paid, the amount, and confirmation number along with the persons name that took payment. I then file the paperwork knowing it has been paid and it's out of my way! Works for me!
Source: Learned from lady I used to work for.
By kk22kk22 from Ft. Collins, CO
Monthly bills are scheduled to for direct payment from my bank account, as are house insurance, car insurance, etc. Other bills are ppaid via credit card/bank over the phone. I rarelly use a stamp.
I find it easier to pay bills online. I am not crazy about using my bank's bill pay option. I prefer going to the individual website (utility company, credit card company, insurance co., Kohl's) and pay the bill with my checking account info. You have the option of a one-time payment or you can sign up for automatic payments, whichever you prefer. Cable, Verizon and insurance will accept credit cards online as well.
This eliminates the problem of checks getting lost in the mail or not being credited in time, and saves postage.
I love my bank's bill pay option. The only bill I write a check for is the water bill. The office where I pay this bill is just a block from my house so I can drop that payment off anytime.
When I receive my other bills, I log into the bank's web site, enter the amount I'm paying and choose the date I want it to be paid and I'm done. I never have to think about it again.
I've been doing this for almost 4 years and will never go back to writing checks again.
Microsoft Outlook Calendar reminders work best for me, as I have only one bill automatically paid at this point. I have one other set up so all I have to do is call with my account number, since they have my debit card on file.
It may sound "klunky," but each month, I simply copy and paste the old reminder's info into a new reminder for the coming month. If there's more than one bill due on the date in question, I consolidate them. Also, since I get such a great rate on my credit union savings, I stash most of my income there until it's needed. It's less than $2 interest earned each month, but it adds up! And not seeing that money sitting around in my checking account, I'm less tempted to make impulse buys that would jeopardize my ability to pay the bills.
I pay my bills (on-line) when they are due not ahead of time. Why should I allow the electric company to collect interest on my money when I could be doing that for another 2 weeks. Check payments only need about 5 days to get there on time.
I pay some of my bills using my credit union bill pay option. I also discovered a site which pays several monthly bills. They have a list on their home page and will notify you when you have a bill coming due. It is called mycheckfree.com The only check we mail is our HOA fee.
Paying on-line. Rather than paying bills through the bank which charges you for the service, go to the actual website of your provider, such as your credit card co., or electric co. and pay there. They take your payment for free.
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I never miss paying a bill on time. As I receive bills in the mail, I check to see that the amount owing is accurate, write on the outside of the envelope, at the very top, the date that I either need to mail in my payment for it to reach the company on time, or the date that the amount will be deducted automatically from my checking account. The envelopes are kept on the window ledge just above my desk in an old, decorative napkin holder in date order.
I sit at my desk first thing every day to plan my day, always remembering to glance up at my bills to be paid. Any that have that day's date on them, I take care of immediately. Since I do not get paid interest on my checking account, as soon as I get my credit card bill, I check to make sure all my saved sales slips, which I keep in date order in the pocket of my Account Book, match the amount on the statement and write the check.
In 35 years, I have never had to pay interest on any credit card because I pay the balance off every time I receive a bill.
By Betty from Portland, OR
You've heard it before. "You always have to pay your bills on
time or it will hurt your credit rating". The fact is that not
paying your bills on time can also cost you a bunch of money.
The last time I checked being late on a credit card payment
can cost you as much as $29 each time. In some cases this is
more than the payment.
Most banks and loan companies also charge some sort of late fee.
Even my electric company tacks on 10% if you don't pay on time.
The bad part of this is that most of the time making late
payments can be avoided. That's because they are simply a
result of a lack of organization. If your bills and receipts
aren't kept organized there is a good chance you will eventually
be late on a payment.
There is nothing more frustrating than receiving a bill for
something you know you've already paid and not being able
to find the receipt or cancelled check. In this case, if
you can't prove you already paid it then you still owe it.
You have to have an organized filing system that you keep
up with faithfully. At Budget Stretcher I have a system so
that you can have your budget, bill paying and filing system
all in one convenient 3 ring binder.
To use this system you will need to setup a budget using
The Complete Budget and Bill Organizer. This organizer is
available free at http://www.homemoneyhelp.com/BBOonline.html . I
would suggest visiting this page to setup your budget before
you try to set up your organizer.
Whether you decide to use my Bill Organizer system or another
system you need to have one. I am going to go through my
system step by step.
Keeping track of your bills each month can be a headache. How
to organize your bill paying and keep track of those receipts,
canceled checks, loan papers and other important paperwork can
be made easy.
Below is a list of supplies you will need. These are available
at all department and office supply stores.
Step One: Open your three ring binder. Insert your pocket tab
dividers. In front of the pocket dividers, place 1 Write on Tab
Divider. The Write on Tab Divider is designed to provide support
while you are writing on the Monthly Bill Summary.
Step Two: After you complete your Budget as outlined in the
The Complete Budget and Bill Organizer
label the dividers. Start by labeling the first divider, Bills
to be Paid. Then label the rest of the dividers with the names
of your bills. See the below sample:
Continue this until you have a divider for each bill. If you
donít have enough dividers I suggest that you combine similar
bills. This could be all car payments, utilities or credit
Step Three: Place your Budget Form, Monthly Bill Summary and
Page 2 of the Monthly Bill Summary in the document protectors.
Then place them in the three ring binder in this order:
Step One: Gather all of your bill statements and payment books
and place them in the pocket divider labeled Bills to be Paid.
This is where all the bills are to be placed when you receive
Step Two: On payday, look at section 2 of the Monthly Bill
Summary to determine which bills need to be paid that payday.
Write out your checks for these bills and get them ready to
mail. On the statement for each bill or in your payment book,
write the check number and date paid.
Step Three: File all statements in the pocket divider
corresponding to that bill. When you receive your bank
statement and after you reconcile it, also put the canceled
checks in the pocket divider corresponding to that bill.
File any correspondence in these pocket dividers.
Read more about Your Checking Account at: http://www.homemoneyhelp.com/checkingaccount.html
One of the biggest problems people have with organizing their
bills and receipts is not knowing what to keep and what to
First, there are really four types of files. Personal
(bill receipts, etc), tax files (any paperwork that is
required for taxes), long term files (mortgages, car contracts,
or any other contract) and important papers (will, birth
Personal files are the files mentioned in the Bill Organizer.
At the end of the year, if the files aren't too thick you can
consolidate them into one folder labeled with the year.
Examples of things in this category are: monthly insurance
statements, credit card statements, mortgage receipts, and
any other monthly statement. KEEP THESE RECORDS FOR TWO YEARS.
Tax files can be filed in a folder or accordion folder. These
items include: W2 forms, 1099 forms, All tax forms with
attachments and any other form that you receive that must be
reported on your taxes. KEEP THESE RECORDS FOR THREE YEARS.
It is best to keep your previous years tax forms plus the
three years before that. The IRS only audits back three years.
You can destroy older files.
Long Term files include your mortgage or lease agreements,
notes on car purchases or any contract that is still in effect.
Keep these files in a safe place. KEEP THESE FILES AT LEASE
UNTIL THE AGREEMENT HAS ENDED. MY SUGGESTION IS TO KEEP THEM
FOR FIVE YEARS AFTER THE AGREEMENT HAS ENDED.
Important papers should be kept together where you can lay
your hands on them quickly. You might want to use a safety
deposit box or at least a locked drawer. These items include:
wills, deeds, trusts, stock certificates, birth and death
certificates and any other extremely important documents.
KEEP THESE FILES INDEFINITLY.
As you can see this organizer will help you keep everything
in order. However, no organizer will be any good if you
don't keep up with it.
One tip that will help you keep this organizer neat is to
eliminate any paper that doesn't need to be there. Many
people keep the envelope that the bill is received in. You
will find that this will clutter your organizer faster than
It is also not a good idea to fold your receipts or copies
of your statements unless you absolutely must to make them
Having a system to file your bills and receipts will make it
much easier to know what bills are due and when they are due.
Once you know this paying your bills on time is much easier.
About The Author:
Terry Rigg is the author of Living Within Your Means - The Easy
Way http://www.homemoneyhelp.com/ebookadpage.html and editor
of The FREE Budget Stretcher Newsletter and Budget Stretcher
web site http://www.homemoneyhelp.com. He has 25 years of
experience counseling individuals and families concerning their
personal finances. Use this email link to get a list of all of
Terry's articles by autoresponder at: firstname.lastname@example.org