So, first things first - I made a list of my "irregular" bills. These are bills that come up once or twice a year (such as insurance payments, membership dues, etc.) and logged them in my irregular bill and payment checklist. I will get bills mailed or emailed before these things are due, but it's nice see at a glance what's coming up each month that is typically unplanned for in a regular monthly budget. We actually have a savings account labeled "bi-yearly bills" so that we're saving for these payments all year and they're not an unexpected hiccup in our monthly cash flow. Best idea I ever had.
Next, I switched everything over to paperless. This was a really hard choice. While I love technology and check my email daily, I am having a hard time knowing that I'm now depending on my email to let me know when a bill is due. It will be worth it though, I'm sure. I have one email address that's a personal email that I use only for teaching related newsletters, family/friend correspondence, and bills/other important online accounts. Everything else that I sign up for goes to my "junk mail" account, which I still check daily. This makes me feel at least a little bit better, knowing that I won't "lose" any important bill reminders amongst the junk I subscribe to.
Bills that are on a monthly pay schedule, and are due on the same day of each month, I log on my bill and payment checklist. I can then check off each month when I pay the bill so I know that it's taken care of. Did you know that you can change your payment due date for most bills online? I just discovered this on a credit card company's bill pay website and am now noticing it elsewhere. This is a really nice feature of having an online account for bills - that way you can change the date yourself to something more convenient.
I have used my online calendars (with Cozi and Google Calendar) to schedule bill reminders for myself. I can set up a reminder to be emailed or texted to me at a time that I specify. I think I need to start doing this again. My mind has been mush lately with everything that's going on at work. With Google Calendar you can create a category labeled "bills" and all of your bills that you put into your calendar will be labeled the same color. You can also set them as recurring so you don't have to put them in for every month of the year. Very convenient if you're willing to take the time to set it up.
Some companies will waive fees or reduce your interest rate if you set up auto-pay. I have auto-pay set up for our internet service. It saves me $3.50 a month that they wanted to charge as a "convenience fee". I know the amount that they're going to take out each month, so I had no problem signing up for auto-pay. Our student loan companies offer interest rate reduction for setting up auto-pay. We haven't decided to set that one up yet though due to the amount that we pay each month.
Add bill paying to your weekly schedule so it's done regularly. Collect all of your bills and sit down to pay them each week. I have chosen Thursdays for my bill paying day.
Do you have a bill paying system or schedule in your home? I would love to hear what you do in your household when it comes to paying bills! Please share your tips!