When you are trying to save money and pay off debt the last thing you want to do is pay more fees and interest than you already are. It is very frustrating to log into your online credit card account only to find that you have missed the payment date by one day. Now they have charged you a $30 late fee and possibly raised your interest rate. One way to save yourself time and money by putting your bills on Autopay.
Stop paying late charges
Before I became more financially savvy I just kept an estimated time in my head of when each bill was due. This was actually a disaster and resulted in more late payments than I would like to admit. This is a total rookie mistake and is probably one of the reasons we have managed to stay in debt for so long.
Once I got all our finances in order I divided our bills into two parts of the month. Bills that come out the first part of the month and bills that come out the second part of the month. Sounds easy right? Apparently not for me. I logged in once again to pay a bill to realized that I was two days late already. So much for getting everything under control. I have since learned that I need to write everything down and make biweekly dates with myself to go over the upcoming bills.
Schedule your payments
There are actually a few different ways that you can do this easily. Luckily, all of them involve giving you back some of your precious time and less stress during the month. The first way is to sit down on the first of the month and schedule dates for all your bill payments. You don’t have to actually pay the bill on the first, but schedule the payment to come out on or before the date that it is due. Don’t forget to add it to your register so that you make sure you subtract it from your account on the proper day.
If you have bills that you aren’t able to actually pay online that is ok too. Most banks have a Bill Pay feature that allows you to pay your utilities, car payment, and even medical bills. You can set these payments to come out on the date you specify. You can even set up recurring payments if that makes your life easier. Even if you don’t see a merchant on your banks list most banks will send a check to anyone that you specify.
I don’t pay bills online
If you still haven’t moved into the 21st century and don’t like paying your bills online this system can still work for you. Simply sit down once a month and write out your checks for each bill. You can mark the day that each bill needs to be mailed so that it arrives on time right on the envelope. Usually, either the back or the upper right-hand corner where the stamp goes works well. Place the prepared bills somewhere where you will remember to check every few days to see what needs to go out. You can drop them in the mail about a week before they are due and not have to worry for the rest of the month.
As you can see this method can save you time, money, and possibly even improve your credit score. I really wish I had thought of it sooner in my journey to debt free living. What are some ways that you have found to save time and money paying your bills each month? Feel free to share your tips and check out my other great posts on achieving financial independence.
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