I open all mail immediately upon bringing it into the house. If I cannot do that, at least the bills are pulled out and placed in my bill-paying spot on my desk. This is where they stay until the next payday rolls around.
I pay bills on (or around) the 1st and 15th days of the month, paydays. I write my tithe check to my church first, then I go through all the bills that have already been placed in the bill slot of a table top organizer that sits on my desk. Any designated spot will do.
I use my credit union's free web bill-pay program and go through the pile to determine which are due before the next payday. Those get paid and all the related paper work is completed, notes made on the statements, and they are filed.
I do not use auto-bill pay for anything since I want to see the invoices before paying them to prevent any mistaken charges on the account being paid without my knowledge or permission. I also like the paper statements in my file so I, or anyone, can pull out any past statements without internet access or any passwords. This works well for me. I need the paper reminders and I rely on myself to get them paid, not my bank. So if anything goes wrong, I know I've done my part of the process and have no trouble being accountable for that.
By Leslie from Portsmouth, VA
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I also use the method you describe. In addition, I schedule a credit card minimum payment to be received by the credit card company on or before the due date. That way, there is no chance that at least the minimum is not paid on time. The amount can be revised in your online screen for that item. Then schedule additional monies to pay down as appropriate. This allows for a little flexibility when things are tight and avoid late charges and a ding on the credit report!
Leslie, you expressed your rationale for not using automatic bill-pay very well. I couldn't have said it better! I prefer to pay my own bills on my own schedule too, but mine is more a matter of never knowing ahead of time what my income will be. It would be bad if a withdrawal for $100 processed and I only had $50 available to pay the bill! I was a little peeved this month when my quarterly A D & D ins premium cost me an extra $5 simply because I'd lost track of the payment schedule.
And there's another benefit to paying on your schedule rather than the financial institution's: you can also pay items early and save on interest.
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