While I enjoy teaching about personal finances, I’m not a fan of paying bills. Who does?! But as it stands, they are apart of life so here are 4 simple things that you can do to make them easier to handle
If you prefer the manual route of paying bills–bill comes in the mail, you file it, retrieve it and then pay your bills–as soon as you receive your monthly statements, it’s important to have a system that keeps you informed when your bills are due and a filing system that allows you to quickly find each month’s statements. The preferred method is to have a calendar and file folder system that is organized and stored separately in your home. Check out my Just Organize It post for a few tips and pointers!
Use your bank’s Bill Pay Feature
Almost every bank and/or credit union offers bill pay services. Use this convenient and easy feature to handle all of your recurring bills–rent/mortgage, utilities, car payment, insurance, credit cards–because you will see them every month! If you are savvy enough to be reading this blog, then you are Internet savvy and so therefore there are not any excuses about using the good ‘ol web to make your life a little simpler.
Use a Separate Email Account for Finances
Set up a separate email for all of your Banking alerts–new bills received, due date approaching, pending payments, payments sent, new deposits, minimum balance alerts, etc. Establishing a separate account is an easy way to compartmentalize this area of your life and it’s a great way to track all important information. It’s almost like a check register or your file system via email. An easy example of an email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use your bank’s mobile App
If your bank has an App (and they should) install it for your phone and/or tablet. Easy access to your banking accounts will keep vital information close to you so that you can quickly access it when needed. Additionally there are several financial apps that can help you manage all aspects of your finances. Mint.com is probably one of the most popular and can be used on many different devices.
Using Online Banking, E-bills, and my bank’s AutoPay features are perhaps the best things that I have done to organize my finances. I stagger all of our bills (which are not many!) to fall after each pay period.
I setup banking alerts so that I am notified when a new bill is received and/or when a payment is leaving our account. With our payroll checks on direct deposit, I don’t worry if the money is available to pay the bills. It all works like clockwork and I now I just oversee the process. If you’re married, you and your spouse should have joint access to the accounts and all of the banking alerts. The hubby and I receive all of the same alerts so there is no confusion–well there is still confusion sometimes but that’s another post.
Go forth and happy Bill Paying!