When it came to paying bills on time, I was losing my mind. Every month there was always a minimum of at least one bill we forgot to pay. It was ridiculous. We were constantly asking, “Have you seen the water bill? Did you pay the mortgage?” Not to mention we forgot to pay our water bill once and we had to pay over $300 in fees because of a simple oversight. The simple fact was that we were (and still are) overwhelmed. Half of our accounts were set up with paperless billing and the other half were not paperless. I check the mail about once every two weeks to make matters even worse. In my usual fashion it was late one evening and I decided enough was enough. We NEEDED an organized system in place STAT or our home was going into foreclosure, our cars were going to be repossessed, and all utilities were going to be shut off because we forgot or misplaced another bill. So, I got to work.
The first step in my plan was to set up an email address dedicated to paperless bills, payment reminders, and account updates. This way my water bill payment reminder email is not overlooked because my email box is too full.
After I set up the email account, I then converted all my bills to paperless. Since I had to change the email address on all my accounts, as I logged into each account I also converted to paperless billing. Paperless billing lessens the chance that I will forget to pay a bill and reduces the clutter at home. Less paper = Less mess.
When we converted to paperless billing, that also meant too many usernames, passwords, and websites to remember. To solve this problem, I created a spreadsheet to store all this information. The spreadsheet was added to the Budget section of our Household Financial Manual.
MANILLA ACCOUNT/ONLINE BILLING
At some point, the bills need to be paid. I use our bank’s online system to auto pay all reoccurring bills. I set up each account in bill pay and Manilla. Manilla is an online account and bill organizer. You can set up your account to receive reminders or pay bills from this site. It is another check and balance system. It is online, has an app, and provides an at-a-glance view of all our accounts.
Last but not least, I still needed to verify that all the bills were paid each month. I created a simple checklist and checked each bill off as it was paid. This sheet was added to the budget section of our Household Financial Manual.
I have now organized my money. This plan has streamlined my bill payment system and when and how bills are paid. It has allowed me to only pay bills twice a month on time. I am no longer chasing dates, bills, or money. This system just might free up a little more time for blogging and that makes me very happy.