Friday, December 21, 2012

Organization: Bill Paying

If you are anything like I used to be when it came to bill paying, you need help organizing your bills. I didn't often mail things late but the bills would sometimes get lost. I would stack them on the counter and then my husband would look through them and they would never be put back the same way. The envelopes would be missing and I would have to sift through everything to find them again. 

We tried an organizer, which quickly got filled up with just about everything. Bills would be scattered from the organizer, the entry way table it sat on, to the kitchen counter. It was just never organized and it was costing us money for those times we were late becuase the bill was misplaced

Finally I found something that really helped me out. Echoes of Laughter gave a really easy way to organize and make sure all bills are paid. I took her idea and made it work for us.

I took an old binder left over from my college years and some left over page protectors. The front cover I put the check book, all unpaid bills, and Post It's in case I need to write down anything. 

I picked up a free calendar from our utilities office to write down when everything is due. Since I use the Gazelle budget from Dave Ramsey, I write down any bills that we have automatic bill pay in addition to those I have to write checks for and when I need to apply for my husbands unemployment (he is seasonal so it is only for a few months and I sometimes need that reminder). I sit down every Monday and pay all bills that are due the next week or two and fill in our Gazelle budget. Once they are paid I use my highlighters to cross it off, so I can just glance and know what needs to be paid.

The page protectors I use to orgainze our paid bills. Most bills only need to be kept for a month. I put last months bills in the burn box and it keeps my filing cabinet cleaned out. The back pocket has everything that does need to be kept and filed. You should keep pay stubs, receipts for taxes, charitable donations for taxes, and one to three months of bank statements.

This has been so great. I feel so organized and we have not misplaced any bill since starting this. It is so simple and takes a few minutes every week to pay bills.

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