Mortgage payments, credit card bills, utility bills, and student loan bills – they pile up fast! Sometimes it may seem impossible to keep up. Remember, though: paying your monthly bills on time is the best way to take control of your financial life. Use the following suggestions to start making on-time bill payments a habit.
Create a calendar
If you have a personal calendar for appointments or other commitments, you won’t have a difficult time creating a separate calendar for paying your bills. That way, you can hold yourself accountable for all your financial obligations. Below are some tips on how to create a bill payment calendar:
- Mark the due dates for each bill.
- Mark specific days when you should pay the bills. You can set these days based on the date you get paid.
- Always check your calendar at the beginning of every week to remember any upcoming bills.
- If you have to mail any payments, mark the best date to send the payment to ensure that it arrives before the due date.
- After you pay a bill, cross the date paid on your calendar.
Automate your payments
Most recurring bills provide you with the option of automatically deducting the amount you owe from your savings or checking account each month. For additional convenience, some companies will allow you to choose a payment date, payment amount, and a payment schedule. However, before you sign up for auto-pay, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind:
- Find out whether the service is free of charge or if it will cost you money.
- Choose a date for making withdrawals that fits your bill calendar.
- Ask what you will have to do if you decide to stop the automatic payments.
Use financial software
Some apps will do much more than keep track of your due dates; most apps will allow you to track your spending, save for retirement, build a budget, and pay your bills. However, to use some of these programs, you may have to provide your personal and bank details.
Benefits of using technology:
- Apps like Bill Reminder Free send reminders for approaching due dates.
- You can submit your payments through the financial software.
- You will see all your bills at a glance.
- You can access a detailed record of all your payments.
Consolidate all your bills
Do you get your phone service, internet access, and cable TV from the same service provider? Instead of making separate monthly payments, consolidate your bills and pay them all at once.
Sign up to receive bill reminders by email
Use email to your advantage! Start by checking whether your creditors have an online payment reminder, or go paperless altogether and receive all your bills via email. When you receive the bill reminder, you will be prompted to log into your bank account and pay your bills.
Change due dates
Of course, to pay your bills on time, you have to have the funds to cover the costs in the first place. If your due dates don’t align with your payday, you might look into changing the due dates. However, you should be aware that not all creditors are flexible about this. Odds are if you have a personal or auto loan that your lender will agree to change the date. On the other hand, it may be difficult to change the due dates of bills that vary from one month to the next, like utilities and credit cards.
Before you can request to change your due dates, ensure:
- Your account is up to date.
- The new payment date doesn’t affect the due dates for other bills.
- Contact your lender or creditor to request the change.
- When your request is approved, confirm when the due date change will take effect to avoid fines.
Prepay your bills
If you have a hard time paying your bills on time, consider prepaying your monthly bills to avoid paying fines for late payments. Most creditors will allow you to pay bills in advance. If you have an irregular income, prepay some of your recurring bills when you have the money. This way, you will never have to worry about late payments. Just keep an eye on your bill calendar to know upcoming due dates.
Are Your Bills on Top of You?
If you have a problem paying your bills on time, consider trying a new routine. Make small changes that seem to work best for you. Over time, paying your bills will become a habit; you will never have to worry about those punishing late fees again!