How to Organize Bills

You have to learn how to organize bills and pay them on time. Everybody hates to pay bills, but bills come regardless and have to be paid. You want to avoid the awful sinking feeling of knowing you have to pay a particular bill, but can’t find it and end up frantically looking for it.


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Types of Bills

bills
Photo courtesy of stopnlook

Certain bills come at pretty regular intervals, while others have to be paid only once in a while. Bills for utilities and home or office rent will be regular. Those for magazine subscriptions, membership fees, activities and the like will come only occasionally. The first step in learning how to organize your bills is to list all the bills you have to pay and when you have to pay them. Your list might include:

  • Electricity
  • Credit card
  • Cable
  • Internet
  • Rent or mortgage
  • Phone
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Insurance (personal, life, car, home, medical)
  • Car payment
  • School or related fees

Each person’s list will be somewhat different. If you own your house free and clear, you may not have to pay on a mortgage. If you don’t have children in school, you will not be liable for any school or related fees

Sorting the Bills

The next step in learning how to organize bills is to sort your bills by the date when they need to be paid.

The best way to make sure that you don’t miss a payment is to make out a check for the bill payment as soon as the bill comes, put it into an envelope, address it and put a sticker on it with the date when it has to be paid. As new bills come, put the later payment checks under the first one, in order by date. Keep the envelopes in an easy-to-access place, and mail them out in good time for the payment to reach your creditor and be credited to your account, so that you don’t incur late payment charges.

Once you have mailed out the check, cross out the payment from the list of bills and mark it as paid. Keep a file of all paid bills, either by month or by creditor, and file each bill when you have paid it. Keep the files safe for tax purposes, to resolve any dispute regarding bill payment and to help in balancing your accounts.

Soft Copy and Hard Copy of Bills

Some companies send bills only by mail, called hard copy bills, and you must pay them by check. However, with increasing environmental concern, many companies have now opted for e-bills, or soft copy. If your creditor offers this method of being billed and you are comfortable using the Internet to receive bills, you will receive electronic bills at your email address.

Electronic billing can make how to organize your bills a much simpler matter. If a bill is on your computer, you will actually find it easier to sort it out and make timely payments. You can make folders on your desktop with appropriate weekly dates and save the email copies in them. You can also download various reminder options, available as freeware, to alert you so you pay the bills at the appropriate time. Once you have paid the bills, you should put the folder or file in a paid-bill folder.

How to Pay E-Bills

Most of the time, e-bills can be paid via online banking. To make Internet payments, your bank account must be Internet enabled and you need to have all the passwords and security measures in place. Some utility companies and other creditors actually prefer receiving online payments as it makes their accounting easier.

Even if you have to make a payment by check, you can still make out the post-dated check, put it into a stamped and addressed envelope and send it off to reach the biller before the cut-off date.

Some banks may allow you to register certain companies as billers, which makes receiving their bills and making payments even easier. How to organize bills is so much easier when you use new technology to do so.

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