Five Tips for Managing Monthly Bills
Financial success requires certain disciplines. You need to know what you’re spending your money on, spend less than you earn, and set aside some savings every month. You also need to be disciplined about monthly bill paying. Bills for your monthly expenses probably fall due on different days, and if you lose track, you’ll miss payments and eventually damage your credit score. Here are five tips for managing your monthly bills like a boss.
Create a place for bill paying and personal business
Designating a desk, corner of the kitchen table or some other place in your home for bill paying will help focus your attention on your monthly obligations and other personal business.
Write things down
You can better manage monthly bills if you create a written list or spreadsheet listing every monthly expense and the dates they’re due. Keep track of receipts for payments as you make them. This document will also help you spot bad spending habits so you can begin to control them.
Paper bills get misplaced or thrown away and add to environmental waste. Managing monthly bills will be easier if you set up paperless billing for your accounts. You’ll receive an e-mail statement as soon as the bill is issued.
Pay monthly bills online
Follow the steps to pay bills through your bank account’s online bill-paying system. Each month, you’ll log into your bank account and direct payments to each vendor. This practice is better than giving your bank account number to your various vendors so that they can debit the money. Minimizing the number of vendors that have your sensitive information reduces the risk you’ll get hacked.
Electronic payment is much faster than writing out checks, putting them in envelopes with stamps and snail-mailing them. Plus you get a confirmation number each time to prove you made the payment.
An additional advantage of using online banking systems is that many have built-in budgeting tools and reports to help you keep track of monthly spending.
Create a special e-mail account
If you go paperless, your vendors will send you a monthly e-mail reminding you a payment deadline approaches, another e-mail when the bill is due and a receipt confirmation once you’ve paid. To keep track of these e-mails, create a separate e-mail account for bills and give the address to give to all your vendors. Having a dedicated email address for managing monthly bills means you are less likely to overlook a statement buried in the avalanche of messages you receive in your personal e-mail account.
To keep things orderly, create a file within the bill-paying e-mail account for each vendor. As bills come in and are paid, drop the related correspondence into the appropriate file.