Paying Bills On Time

Tips and ideas to help you pay your bills on time.

Write The Date and Time Due on the Envelope

When I receive bills or any correspondence that has to be mailed at a certain time, I save time and aggravation by writing the date due to be mailed where the stamp goes. Only takes a second to let me know it is time to mail something.

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By Linda

Online Bill Paying

Use an online bill paying service. As soon as your bill comes in the mail, schedule the payment. If it is a recurring bill, many services will let you schedule it to be paid automatically each month so that you don't have to enter it each time.

By QueenBeeCrafts

Paying Bills Right Away

I pay each bill the day after it comes in the mail. Then there's no forgetting a bill payment.

By rabbithorns

Credit Counseling

We really got into hot water by not paying our bills on time. We were close to losing our house. We went to a certified nonprofit credit counselor and we are doing much better. We have been with them for a year. They charge a fee for their service, but we save that much money in interest fees. They negotiated lower interest rates with some of our creditors. We will be out of debt in less than two years.

I mention this only because some of the people who visit this site are coming because they are in the same situation.

If you go to a credit counselor, make sure they are certified and non-profit. Also make sure that they are not trying to get you to sign another loan on your house. Some outfits are simply mortgage companies. The people we work with (GreenPath) are certified, nonprofit and they are also certified HUD counselors. All of this makes it easier to deal with the creditors. The phone calls have stopped. We shop at Aldi's for food and we shop at Thrift stores for over half of our clothing (I rarely find clothes for my tall son at thrift shops, the best I can do is clearance at landsend.com and oldnavy.com. I can never find his size at brick and mortar stores.)

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By odeal59

My Three Rules

Rule #1:

Keep all your bills in one place. Take them there straight from the mailbox to avoid misplacing one.

Rule #2:

Select one day of the week (or every other week) for paying bills. Sometimes time gets away from me and I realize I haven't paid bills in a while and there is something due tomorrow. If I pay bills every Thursday, I am unlikely to miss it. Then on that day I pay everything that is due within the next 10 days so I don't have to worry about them again until the next week. That gives enough time for them to get through the mail. This goes for online bill pay services as well because sometimes it takes up to 5 days for them to process it and mail it to the company being paid.

Rule #3:

Keep a list of the bills that don't have a reminder coming every month, like rent or bills with a payment book. Better yet, keep a list of all bills you have due every month with the approximate date of the month they are due. Example:

1st of month House payment
10th of the month insurance payment

This really helps keep track of auto debits because it is easy to screw up your balance if you forget that an auto debit posted. Also, when you pay regularly and get into a rhythm like this it becomes easier to know how much money you are going to need later in the month so you know when to quit spending.

By TabbyCat

Pocket Calendar

Purchase cheap yearly pocket calendar or better yet, get one from a vendor with advertising on it for free. Each month has a margin, write mortgage or rent, car payment, water, phone, electric, standard monthly bills. As soon as bill comes in, record the amount. When paid, check it off list. List credit cards and balances, add insurance payments to list on months due. I keep one in my desk at work.

By Sandy

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August 26, 20060 found this helpful

I need to learn how to set everything up and organize everything can this help me?

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August 26, 20060 found this helpful

I make my own monthly calendar with an 8-1/2x11" sheet of typing paper, wide side on top. With ruler and pen, I make 7 boxes across and 6 down, each about 1-1/2". Top row is for month and year (e.g. August 2006) and day of week for each vertical row. I write in 1 - 31 as appropriate for each month

I put this on the wall over my desk and mark due date of all bills, date paid, sales I don't want to miss, chores (cut grass, doggie bath, haircut, etc.) and, most important, work hours and amount paid. I just quit an hourly part-time job, partly because I was accused of something I didn't do and I used this record to prove company mgmt. put bad info into competer, that I was not even working on the day in question.

At end of year, I paperclip all 12 sheets together and use them for my taxes and keep them with my annual tax records.

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August 26, 20060 found this helpful

I make my own monthly calendar with an 8-1/2x11" sheet of typing paper, wide side on top. With ruler and pen, I make 7 boxes across and 6 down, each about 1-1/2". On top row put month and year (e.g. August 2006) and day of week for each vertical row. Then write in 1 - 31 as appropriate for each month.

I mark due date of all bills, date paid, sales I don't want to miss, chores (cut grass, doggie bath, haircut, etc.), birthdays, holidays, and, most important, work hours and amount paid. Check each off when done. Use back for extra notes.

I just quit an hourly part-time job, partly because I was accused of something I didn't do and I used this record to prove company mgmt. had put bad info into computer, that I was not even working on the day in question.

At end of year, I paperclip all 12 sheets together and use them for my taxes and keep them with my annual tax records.

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August 26, 20060 found this helpful

Jantoo-- I've done your method and it works-

I set mine up in quarters of the year-- so I could see three months at a time, birthdays, insurance bills on the way--Also added personal investment information to that calendar showing when and how much cash I invested, the amount and where. I also listed my credit card bills and their payoff amount AND the interest rate. All of which was the basis for tax returns. Is really interesting like 10 years later- even the next year!-- to see where you've been and what you've accomplished. I also make a list of what I want to accomplish for the new year around New Years day-- as simple as lose 10 pounds to difficult or expensive items like put in a sprinkler system in the front yard.

My preference for bill paying at this point in my life is auto-pay-- All accounts are cost free-- and I don't have to buy or make out checks or find stamps. I love it. I also have a list of when checks are electronicly deposited and when the auto bills arrive at my credit union so I make sure there is enough coverage.

Ashley-- there are many ways to organize , as there are for saving money and you'll have to find exactly which works for you. One simple way is envelopes. List on each one what the money is to pay for-- city trash for instance, electricity bill and all with their date due. Set them up in a box with dividers for 12 months or 31 days( or both). Put the box where you'll see it every day, with a calendar near to see at the same time. This may seem too bulky but just about any method will seem bulky or a hassle. Once you see the strides you've made-- you will be hooked in a good way.

Years ago I was fortunate that my power company allowed investment in the company while paying your bill-- thusly, if my electric bill was $75, I'd write the check for $100 and invest the $25 difference. Not many companies allow this, but it is a grand way to begin your investing life-- and paid off in a big way after I retired. I used 1000 shares of that power company to pay off most of my house-- 27 years early! I'm so proud of myself!!

One last thought. Credit ratings are based on a few-- repeat few lines of type. Included are 1) your telephone bill-- how long at one address and payment on time. 2) payment on time on credit card bills-- the holder of the credit card debt really doesn't care because you are adding a large percent to their bottom line. 3) Credit is also figured on the number and limit amount of your credit cards. This is every one! Any that you used a few years back and then just didn't use for any reason-- it all counts. I suggesst that you review your credit cards and call the companies to close the accounts.

I llike to think I've given "investing 101" to many folks- at work, at church and friends. None is hard except the first step-- BEGIN and pay yourself first! Plus the other biggie-- list where your money goes-- every penny.

I wish everyone good luck and smart money handling.

Sincerely

.

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August 26, 20060 found this helpful

i have 2 friends who are like my sisters helping me do this right now. i got into this fix and didnt know what to do. i told them and one has done a spread sheet on my computer.. the other has gone thru all the paper work bills that i could find. now i dont know what they are doing but. they are sure that i will be able to recover. this has been very good reading.

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August 26, 20060 found this helpful

Ashley,

First make you a calender from your PC.

Write down your bills when due.

Only use this calender for your bills.

Each bill you pay mark off your calender.

Take you a long envelope Mark it with the months date on it keep your receipts in it.

Note: If you would miss a bill carry it over to next month.

Hope this helps...Good Luck

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September 1, 20060 found this helpful

I use my calendar on my computer. When i receive a bill i mark it right on my calendar and i have the option of sending a reminder to myself days before it is due. It will e-mail me or send a pop up on my screen on the date set to remind me.

It has worked wonderfully for me and when it is paid i high lite it in color so i know it is paid. It is always nice coming to that date on the calendar and seeing it high lited paid. It makes you feel good about yourself and it reminds you that you are on track.

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December 29, 20060 found this helpful

My sister has used a plan that has helped me and my parents. All you need is a notebook.

First, write the month at the top. Under that, write "WEEK 1" then beside that write the amount of money that is going to be deposited. Underneath week 1 write down the bills that are due first, such as Bank notes or car notes or house payments. Make sure that they don't exceed the amount deposited (we actually make groceries a bill). I always do my biggest bills first so I am sure they are paid.

Then write "WEEK 2" and write the bills that are due next like electric, phone, and/or doctor bills. Continue through week 4.

This is really good because some months have 5 weeks so that fifth week is extra money. This really works for people who get paid weekly but my mom is paid monthly so she contributes her check to the first weeks big payments and gets that out of the way.

You may have to work with it a bit to get it the way you like it. This may not work for everyone but if it does, let me know!

Looks like:

August(big and centered)

Week 1--$1000(Husband) $500 (Wife)

House-$500

Car-$200

Phone-$100

Bank note-$500

Grocery-$200

Week 2--$500 (Wife)

Electric Bill-$250

Doctor Bill-$100

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December 17, 20140 found this helpful

I no longer pay by USPS, but online through my bank. I have changed the default due date of regular bills to be within the first 15 days of the month. When the bill arrives by email, I immediately schedule it to be paid by due date. Check to determine how many days your bank requires to send so you schedule enough time for your payment to arrive at its destination. You will never have angst over a delinquent bill again!

I have asked for change of default date on several bills (to fit into my payment schedule). Just be prepared for adjustments to the next payment, which could be less or more depending on the cycle.

Since I am on fixed income (Social Security), this process gives me a little freedom after the bills are paid by the middle of the month! I have options to save (LOL) or make the balance of the account last to the end of the month!! Since putting this plan into effect, I have had more peace of mind and freedom from uncontrollable events (bills) than ever thought possible! Peace to all... :)

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