As adults, we are all too familiar with the dread of checking the mail. Checking the mail means that there are usually some bills lurking between the pile of envelopes.
Whether it is a car payment, insurance payment, mortgage payment, or something else, bills, unfortunately, are a large part of being an adult. While bills get a bad reputation (and rightfully so!), they do need to be paid. It is also difficult to part with our hard-earned cash, but doing so doesn’t have to be entirely painstaking.
The Importance of Bill Organization
While paying bills might remind us of getting a tooth pulled, it doesn’t have to hurt that much! In fact, finding a regular routine to how we pay our bills can not only be rewarding but help keep us on track with them.
The very step in this routine is establishing some form of organization. Having some organization has proven to be an effective method of helping us to not feel too overwhelmed. It is no secret that bills can certainly make us feel all sorts of ways.
Controlling our emotions over bills is the primary importance of bill organization. However, it isn’t the only reason it is so critical.
Proper bill organization also ensures we aren’t over drafting our accounts which can lead to more issues like fees. We want to maximize the amount of money we have and the only way to do this is through exceptional management of our bills.
Anyone, with any income, can benefit from organizing their bills. While this practice knows no boundaries for income, those who make less money can certainly benefit from it!
Certain bills like credit card debt can be tackled in a manner to help increase our credit scores. When that happens, we gain a sense of true accomplishment.
That is a huge step in the right direction for things we want out of life. Moreover, it helps us see that organizing bills are a truly important and crucial thing to have in our adult lives!
15 Ways To Organize Your Bills
1. Establish A Location For Your Bills
In a digital age, it is hard to believe that paper bills still exist. However, there are some utilities or businesses out there that stick to the paper mills. When doing something digital isn’t possible, try to establish a location for your bills.
Investing in a paper-holder that holds envelopes is a great first step. This keeps them all neat and filed together. The paper-holder should be placed in a high traffic area like a kitchen island or even a living room end table. Having the bills visible will ensure we remember to pay them!
2. Think About Using Your Phone’s Reminders
Our phones are attached to our hands almost 24/7 and they are great tools in getting bills organized. The reminders or calendar apps on our phone can extremely helpful in keeping bills in check.
Setting reminders for the dates of when bills are due will allow us to have constant access and reminders of their due dates!
3. Set Up Advanced Payments
This is probably the most important aspect of getting bills organized. Setting up advanced payments not only gives us peace of mind that the bill is being paid but that we always know when it is getting paid.
The easiest way to set up advanced payments is to schedule the payments around other bills along with the dates that we get paid. If you get paid every two weeks, this is especially critical as your money has to last a bit longer than someone who gets paid weekly.
You don’t want to overdraft your account, so inspecting what weeks you get paid will determine the best date to split up the bills to lower the blow to your account. Some companies will allow people to move their bill dates to ensure that it can get paid on time!
4. Consider Consolidating Your Bills
Having a pile of bills is so daunting! If there is an opportunity to lump the bills into one payment, you should definitely take that option! More times than not, grouping bills together can also lower the overall payment. It might not be by much, but every dollar counts!
Examples of bills that are typically lumped together include internet, cable, and mobile phone services and house, rental, and auto insurances. Even if you determine that this might not be the right move for you, calling your provider for these services is always worth checking out!
5. Know Your Bill’s Billing Cycle
Not all bills come every month and because of this, knowing your bill’s billing cycle is absolutely crucial! Things like water or sewage might only be billed every 3 or 4 months in some areas.
This can lead to us forgetting that they are due. Then, when it comes in the mail, we get an unpleasant surprise. This is where our phone’s reminder or calendar app can come in handy.
Setting up bill frequencies for infrequent bills is an excellent way to ensure we remember that they are on their way!
6. Sign Up For Bill Reminders
Sure, we have our phone apps to remind us, but another beneficial way to remember and organize our bills is by signing up for bill reminders.
The easiest way to do this is through email. Once again, we always have our phones on us so any incoming email is usually dinged to us!
Moreover, if you wish to eliminate floods of emails that your regular email account receives, consider creating an email that is specifically for bill reminders. This is also a way to keep things in check!
7. Consider Paying Over The Phone
It is a fact that most people do not write checks anymore! Everything is automated and streamlined through apps or online websites. Our phones haven’t become obsolete yet, so placing a phone call to pay a bill is another excellent way to keep things organized when it comes to bills.
Some companies charge a small fee for this service, but usually, it is not anything that will break the bank. Paying this way eliminates the need for writing checks or signing into an account.
8. Pay Attention To A Bill’s Due Date
Paying attention to the bill’s due date has a bit more behind it besides simply know when it is due. For payments that still might require checks or money orders to fulfill payment, it is important to know the due date. Sending out a payment too late could result in unnecessary late fees.
Scheduling this to coincide with when you get paid is critical. A good rule of thumb is to allow up to 3 to 4 days for snail mail to do its job. When doing this, also account for holidays which always affect how mail is received.
9. Establish A Place To Pay Your Bills
This tip is especially good for bills that require checks or money orders for payment. Sitting down at a designated spot every single time it is time to pay bills creates an important routine. This establishes a sense of organization as well. Ideally, this location should also be where the paper bills that came in the mail are also located.
That way, everything is all together and you don’t have to search for anything. Even if you are paying through an app, still find a common place to help you remember to pay them and to keep up with the routine.
10. Don’t Disregard ANY Bills That Come In The Mail
We all too familiar with the dreaded sinking feeling in the pit of our stomachs when we see a bill in the mail. It is super tempting to simply disregard the bills, especially when we are behind.
However, an important step in keeping things organized and our mentality afloat is to open up all our mail, including the bills. Facing the facts of a situation is never easy, but knowing what we are facing helps up set up an appropriate plan!
11. Commit To Paying Your Bills
Committing to actually paying your bills is another important step in bill organization. Not only does this help keep you organized but it helps your credit score as well.
When things like credit debt etc that affect your credit score are being consistently paid, the results really help put you in a good frame of mind!
12. Consult Your Budget
One of the biggest ways to stay organized with bills (both in paying them and seeing what is due when!) is consulting your budget. What money do you have to work with?
A part of consulting your budget is keeping track of your finances. This can be with a register book (the thing that comes with checks where you write your balances after each deduction) or even through a notebook or on a computer. Tracking your finances means you watch what is being deducted and configure what you can afford to spend.
Over time, once certain bills are paid off, there will even be money freed up for paying more towards other things!
13. Invest In A Paper Shredder
As humans, we tend to collect clutter. Clutter starts to buildup when we find ourselves unable to part with things like stacks of paper, items with certain memories, etc.
When it comes to organizing your bills, less is definitely more! Don’t let old bills stack up. If they have paid and the invoice is really old, get rid of it! Investing in a paper shredder will keep things tidy and ensure your privacy is being protected as well.
There is simply no need for letting old bills accumulate. Payments will show up on your banking statements as proof you actually paid them!
14. Keep Your Receipt Numbers
Some payments, especially those made over the phone or online, will provide a receipt number. Keeping tabs on this allows you to keep records of your payments.
This is helpful for people who choose not to use a banking app on their phones. Having a small notebook to track the receipt numbers is an excellent way to keep them all in one place.
15. Use An App
Those who do use apps on their phones (you’d be surprised to learn not everyone does!) will find that keeping bills organized through apps is extremely helpful!
Most utilities, cable providers, and internet companies will have an app for their company. This makes paying super convenient and reduce the paper trail that bills can create.
The Best Apps To Keep Your Bill Organization On Track
Using an app doesn’t have to directly relate to the company in which you are paying the bill. In fact, there are few apps out there that are specifically for keeping you track of bill organization and payments.
These apps are designed to aid you in staying focused and up-to-date on any of your bills.
Moreover, they perform differently than your phone’s calendar or reminder app. Below are some examples of the best apps out there for keeping organized!
Simplfi By Quicken – This app boosts its ability to not only organize upcoming bills but allow users to create entire budgets to keep their lives more streamlined! You Need A Budget
(YNAB) – This handy app goes above and beyond in keeping you budget and finances in check. There’s the ability to import expenses right from your checking account which creates transparent information on where your money is being spent. Moreover, the app helps you feel less overwhelmed by bills because you are able to see areas where your budget could use a little help.
Prism – Prism is revolutionary when it comes to bill organization. This app partners with close to 11,000 companies for bill payment which includes even smaller utility companies. In doing so, Prism really puts the power in people’s hands to stay on track with their bills. The app is a bundled way to sign in and have access to all your bill accounts. You don’t have to worry about remembering a lot of login information or anything. The app also provides a way for users to pay directly through the app and get reminders!
These three are a small selection of what is out there for bill organization. While it is only a small selection, they are the apps that are best in utilizing someone’s time and energy for bill organization!
Bill doesn’t have to be intimidating. They are part of adult life and with good practice in keeping them organized, bills can become manageable and a basic routine of your life!