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Prepare any bills/correspondences ahead of time that will have to be mailed in the future. Do not stamp any of the envelopes. Instead, write in small letters the date that the letters have to be mailed in the area where the stamp is placed. When the day comes for the letter to be mailed; place the stamp over the written date and it's ready to mail out.
Instead of writing checks or preparing other mailings a few times a week/month, do it all at one sitting and date the envelope when it has to be mailed. Keep all the envelopes together in order they are to be mailed. This works great for birthday cards or other greeting cards.
By it's.only.me from NE PA, USA
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To help me pay my bills on time, I put them in a drawer that I open often. I write the date due on the envelope, and stack them with the earliest date on top. This helps me pay on time.
By Mary Lou from Pittsburgh, PA
What I do is: I have a paper folded and tucked in my check
book so the top shows over the ledger and I write like:
Electric 6/18 7/18
Rent 6/18 7/18
Cable 6/18 7/18
Credit Card 6/18 7/18
I don't put the amount because I can look back in the ledger to see it. The size of the paper is sufficient to last the whole year and I write small so it's easy to read. It's easy and I can tell at a glance if and when I paid bills. (06/18/2009)
I'm going to have to set up a reminder system too. I pay my bills online, so as soon as I get it in the mail, I can set up the payment with my bank account. But I can't trust the mail anymore to get the bills to me. Too many times I've been getting other people's mail, so am sure mine gets lost too.
I'm visually impaired, so this is what works for me: As bills come in, I have hubby read the due dates to me. Then I can set reminders for myself using MS Outlook. For example, if I'm getting paid on the 16th and I know the mortgage is due that day, I'll set my reminder to say something like, "To do: pay mortgage." We have another couple of bills that fall due the last week of the month, so whatever payday falls latest in the month gets that reminder. Also, I earn more interest if I transfer most of my cash to savings until it's actually needed . Even though it's not a lot, it's found money, and every penny helps!
Like so many others, I'm cautious about paying bills automatically, since my paycheck can be very erratic. But this does work for me! (06/21/2009)
I do online banking and bill paying. When bills come in I open and place in front of PC in clear view and in day or so set them up in the bill paying section of online banking. You can either pay next day or set up to pay on future date. If you get online bills then when you check the amount and due date jot it down and immediately set it up to pay. The total set up for paying is then listed for you, you can subtract that and know what you still have to work with. It will show you what the amount and date of last payment also. Most online bill paying programs also let you set up reminders that works well and keeps you aware what is due. Just be aware that if they can't send payments electronically it will take days longer (up to 7 days on mine) to have them received by the sender.
I used to use a sheet a month in a steno book and check it off with info, but that was when I wrote manual checks and mailed them out. As the bills came in then I put them on top of the steno book as a signal bill needs to be paid so sit down and do it. If you write all checks manually you can do it early and the spot where the stamp goes you can write the date it needs to be sent out so you won't mail it out late, not the due date. Keeps stamps paper clipped to the book for fast mailing out. (06/23/2009)
I just noticed you are from Pittsburgh, PA. I grew up in Creighton, PA. Do you know where that is? I now live in TX, but still get excited to see someone from near my old hometown.
I have another way to get bills on time. If you have a small file folder with pockets place the bills there when they come in or you get electronic billing (jotting down amount and due dates for them). The dividers are labeled 1 thru 4, 8 thru 14, etc with last one taking to 31st. Place the bills in the file according to the date they should be mailed out, not due date. Then force yourself to set aside few minutes each day to look at current week like when you are having morning coffee or something that is regular part of day.
I have a large desk calendar on the wall near the computer and I write the due date on that date, I still seen to never pay them on time though! (06/23/2009)
Automatic online bill pay works from me. My phone is the same month to month. Our electric company has a program where you pay the same every month. I have them scheduled to go out every month. I've never paid a late fee. I set it up through my bank's website. Most banks offer these kinds of online services these days. (07/02/2009)
By Emily Pierce
I keep a financial notebook. I use a master list of payments due each month and check it off as I pay the bills online. My financial notebook is divided into these sections: Payment Plans, Cash Flow, Loan Amortization, and Expenditure/Repair log. Payment Plans is a sheet for each payday for the year showing payments due from that check. I do a cash flow plan about 3 months out showing all income, payments and projected balances. I periodically check my real balance against my projection and adjust it. I print out loan amortizations for all loans and track them with each payment. I verify balances with the creditor every year. Finally, I post repairs and major expenditures in a log for easy reference. I know this sounds complicated but it really isn't after the initial setup. It's so handy to have everything in one binder. (07/10/2009)
I am looking for suggestions on paying bills and budgeting. Does anyone have any ideas on how to remember when bills are due and keep track of them?