You wake up in the middle of the night screaming because you just remembered that your mortgage payment was due today. You frantically jump out of bed, stub your toe on the corner of your bureau and stumble out of your bedroom in pain to search for the bill.
Unfortunately, you never placed the invoice in a safe place so you recklessly wrestle through piles of papers throughout your home before finally resigning to the fact, that once again you will be have to pay another late fee or even worse affect your credit rating. Have you ever experienced this nightmare? Unfortunately this is one that is a reality to many.
The Harris Interactive research firm reported that 23 percent of adults admitted to paying their bills late (and incur fees) simply because they misplaced them. In our hectic world, that number continues to grow every year. In keeping in line with Time Management month, here are 4 practical solutions to help streamline your bill paying process allowing you to master your finances once and for all.
Separate your bills from the rest of the mail and place them in a visible area:
After coming home from a long day, the last thought on your mind is filing your bills. Place your bills on a tray or basket until you can safely file them away, preferably by the end of the day. This way, no matter when you are looking for them, they are at your disposal and easily accessible.
Designate a folder for unpaid bills:
At the end of the day, file your bills away in a folder so that you can easily locate them. I have one designated colored bill folder located in my top file cabinet drawer, which allows me to quickly retrieve invoices. Making simple files like this makes the whole process a lot easier.
Create a set schedule to pay your bills:
Whether you pay weekly or bi- weekly, it's vital to choose which day/s and time would work best for you and stick to it. I usually get this chore out of the way every Monday, knowing I don't need to worry about it throughout the rest of the week. Set reminders on your computer, or even on one of the many cell phone apps available, and always keep your "date" with you and your bills.
Pay invoices effortlessly by creating a bill paying station that contains all your bill-paying supplies:
Keep checks, deposit slips, pens, stamps, payment coupon booklets, return address labels, a calculator, and a stapler in a designated drawer near your invoices. If you prefer paying your invoices in the kitchen or while watching TV, place these items in a basket or box that you can easily carry around with you. Again, the easier everything is accessible to you, the less stress there is when it comes time to pay them.
Don't fear paying your invoices online:
Save time by automating as many invoices as possible. Although many prefer automatic draft, I select to pay my online invoices, when I choose (as long as it is by the due date). I feel I have more control on my finances and love the convenience of scheduling payments days ahead of time.
Put an end to the recurring nightmare by setting up your easy paying bill system today, and you'll magically have more money in your pocket tomorrow.