Bills, bills, bills. They are an inevitable part of life, and no matter how hard we try to ignore them, they keep appearing! You know that feeling – you grab the mail from your mailbox and there’s nothing but junk mail and more bills. You throw it all in a pile on your desk and walk away. Unfortunately, ignoring the pile doesn’t help! Here’s what you need to do: take this Professional Organizer in NYC’s advice and create a bill paying system.
With a system in place, you won’t miss important due dates, face extra fees or contend with potential shut-off notifications. Here’s how to get started…
Have a space. Dedicate one space for all of your incoming bills. Create a zone separate from the rest of your paper clutter and other incoming mail which will minimize the chance of bills getting lost in the shuffle. Make sure that this space contains your checkbook, envelopes, stamps, and other supplies you may need if you send your payments by mail. Keeping everything in one place will save you time and frustration. Another tip from the professional organizer in NYC: when you are done paying the bill, take 30 seconds to file it away instead of letting the paid bill receipt add to the paper clutter.
Open your mail. I know it can be tempting to ignore that pile of mail, but you can’t hide from it forever. By opening your mail immediately, you’ll quickly be able to note any due dates so that you avoid late fees or potential shut-offs.
Set a schedule. Consider both your budget and your billing cycles when creating your bill payment system. The key is consistency. Schedule time on your calendar to pay your bills, keeping in mind how long payments may take to process. You can write in a planner or use reminders on your cell phone.
Use the internet. The internet has made viewing and paying bills so much easier! You can elect to receive many statements online, get email reminders for payment due dates, and schedule automatic payments through your bank account. Remember to use caution online to protect yourself from identity theft. Also important to note, even when using automatic payments, you still need to monitor your bank account to ensure that there is enough money to cover payments. As you may still receive a monthly statement from your phone or cable company stating that the bill has been paid, devise a system for processing this paperwork. It could be as simple as immediately opening and filing the statement.
The truth is that bills are a part of life, and though they aren’t necessarily fun to deal with, they are a necessity. By setting up a system and a schedule for paying, bills can become just a normal part of your routine rather than an anxiety-ridden activity that you are tempted to ignore. With a system in place, you will save yourself time, money, and frustration.