Sometimes the simplest things in life can be the hardest to do. The concept of paying an invoice on time is fairly simple, but with life throwing you unexpected curve balls, getting a check in the mail or making a payment on time is sometimes the last thing on your mind. Especially during the huge unknown of COVID, it’s important to stay on top of your bills so you don’t get behind.
Even though paying bills is a mundane task, doing so on time results in several positive effects:
- You avoid late fees. You don’t have to part with more money than you should.
- You keep your lights on. If you don’t pay your bills, the companies will eventually cut off their service and you could be left in the dark.
- You keep your credit score in good standing.
- You get peace of mind. Save yourself from worrying about what will happen if you don’t pay your bills on time.
If you’d like to achieve these results, here are a few tips to help you get on schedule with your bill pay system.
Make a list of all your bills.
This will help you get organized and prioritize which bills you need to pay first.
Separate your bills from other mail and keep them in one place.
Regardless of whether your prefer email or hardcopy bills, you need you have a system in place that allows you to see how many bills you have to pay.
Make paying bills part of your routine.
If that means that you want to pay bills every Tuesday night, then do that. If you want to pay bills on a daily basis, make it part of your routine right after dinner to pay the invoices from that day. You should incorporate this activity into your schedule so that you do it on a consistent basis.
Know your due dates.
Have a good idea of when each bill is due. If your due dates are spread out throughout the month and you’d like to do bill payments twice a month, try calling a few vendors to see if they will change your due date. Not every vendor will, but the extra effort now might help you in the long run.
Leave reminders for yourself.
Put it on your paper or electronic calendar or set a recurring reminder on your phone. Sticky notes are also helpful.
Have all the necessary materials.
If you’re close to running out of checks or stamps, be sure to buy more before you need them. Even though the present time might not be convenient, later could be even more inconvenient.
Remember: When you’re down to a few stamps or checks, it’s time to hit the post office and re-order checks. You’re just making it harder on yourself if you run out.
Consider online bill pay.
Even if you’re not comfortable with automatic drafting, try using online bill pay for a month. You don’t have to pay for postage or go to the post office, which saves you time and money.
Put checks that need to be mailed by your keys.
If you have to mail any checks, be sure to put them by your keys, laptop bag or briefcase so you don’t forget to mail them. Better yet, drop them in the mail as soon as you’re finished writing all of the checks.
Make paying bills as fun as possible.
Of course it’s no fun to part with your money, but don’t underestimate the effect of small things like using colorful folders or pretty baskets to house your bills.
If you’re tech savvy, you might enjoy Pocketbook, an app that helps you organize your bills in one place. Again, make paying your bills as fun as possible.
What do you do to help you track and pay your bills on time?