How to Organize & Pay Bills On-Time
An extra's guide to paying bills
I get far too excited about sharing my bill pay plans. So instead of boring my friends to death, I figured a great way to express my excitement can be through written form. This is how I manage my bills.
I budget based on paycheck. In my physical planner, I write down the upcoming bills that need to be paid, whether it be yearly, monthly, or once in a while. For example:
Just writing that list made me a little be anxious and there is way more that should be on there. It is important to have a good sense of what I am working with and what I need to keep an eye out for.
I then allocate which paycheck I am using to fund these expenses. When payday comes around, I immediately pay those bills and breathe easy. This works really well for me, even with automating my payments. If I know I have my student loans deducted on the 24th of each month, I take that into account when determining what bills to pay with my paychecks.
I love Google Calendar. I may be Google Calendar's biggest fan. Google should sponsor me but specifically their calendar division. If my friends want to hang out with me, I make them send me calendar invites. They are not thrilled about it but I will wear them down eventually.
Anyway, using that list from above, I those due dates and statement dates to my calendar. It is so helpful to just look at my calendar for month and see which bills are coming up. I also enjoy physical planners. I look at my Google Calendar and add those dates to my physical planner. When it comes to unexpected bills, I scan it and plan its payment date.
I Use and Abuse Notifications
On that same insane calendar note I add notifications, but I add them strategically. I never want to get to the point of having so many notifications that I just ignore it. That would defeat the point of me having so many notifications. I prefer notifications on my phone and the the confirmation of payment to my email.
I Have A Payment Game Plan
When I am analyzing my bills, I note what needs to be paid with via a check and what can be charged to my credit card. In my case anything that can be paid for with a card (without some sort of fee) will be paid with a card. Everything else that requires a check comes directly out of my checking account. This makes it easier for me in terms of paying bills because, I only have 9 things coming out of my checking account which for me is easier to keep track of.
In case you're wondering, I pay off all of my credit cards in full. I do not recommend doing this if you know you're going to end up exceeding 30% of your total credit line. Consistently utilizing more than 30% of your credit limit can hurt your credit score. Be good to your credit score.
It is so important to record when you pay something. I do not care if you need to create yourself a spreadsheet, or screen shot it, or text it to your mom. Whatever you do keep track. I use Wunderlist as one of main organizational tool, so I mark a bill paid on there and then I write it down in my physical planner.
Key take away here is to be super organized. Have so many notifications that you're anticipating charges a month ahead.