To maximize our daily productivity, bills play an important role. It is one thing we can’t totally do away with, except control it so it doesn’t compile and push us over the edge. In many cases, you have one or more bills to pay each month, including rent, utilities and other payments. The guide below helps you to never miss a bill payment. Understanding and applying them could help you avoid some fees, including fees from late or missed payments.
1. Sign Up for Auto Pay
Automatic Payments are a great way to never miss on payments though you need to make sure you have enough money in your account to cover whatever payment that comes due. There are several online apps to help you achieve this through the customization of each payment expense by listing when the payment will be due, how much the payment will withdraw, which bank account, debit, or credit card will fund the payment, etc. So you never have to worry about missing out on payments and having a bad credit score. It’s worth mentioning that there’s the risk of account overdraft when you do not track and keep up with your account activity over time. Additionally, you can use financial softwares such as Microsoft Money and Quicken. Both possess features that’ll prompt you several days in advance of your bill due dates.
2. Formulate a Bill-Paying Calendar
Another great way to keep up with your bill payment is to draft out a calendar for your bills, just like you do when scheduling out your meetings for the week or month on a calendar. This could be digital or physical, whichever you’re going to be comfortable with and then refer to it twice or thrice a month to plan them out. Include all your recurring bills and attach each due date in the calendar. Also if you can, include the expected payment amount. If you’re able to use a digital calendar such as google calendar, it could get interesting when you set an alert to get a reminder a couple of days to your bill’s due date via email or even phone notification.
3. Create a Bill-Paying Location
Stuffing a bill into your purse or briefcase or throwing it on the kitchen counter when you come in from work are good ways to forget—and miss—the payment due date. Find a convenient place where you can keep and pay your bills. It can be a safe place anywhere in your home or office, and stock it with all the items you need for the process, including a computer and internet access for online payments, checkbook, stamps, pens, envelopes, and a filing system to keep track of your paid statements. Then when it’s time to pay your bills, you’ll have a comfortable, convenient place to do so.
4. Organize Paper Bills
Paper bills, unlike online bills which you could get notified of, have a tricky way of escaping you when it’s due. You sometimes are so consumed with your immediate tasks that you could forget about the payments you were supposed to make a couple of days ago.It’s much worse if your bills are disorganized. It’s necessary for you to arrange your bills according to their due dates and create a habit of noting the dates as soon as you open it by circling or highlighting it and then put the date on your calendar. After each payment, check off the bill in your checklist. For an online spreadsheet, mark “paid” or “no balance” in case you didn’t need to make a payment this month. Keep your checklist up to date so you don’t forget which bills were paid and which are still unpaid.
5. Give Your Payment Time to Arrive
Check your statement or contact your creditors to find out how many days in advance they recommend sending in payment. It’s important to know how long it will take for your creditor to actually receive and process payment, especially if you are sending it near a holiday or weekend. You want to meet or beat the deadline, not mail the check a day or two late.
6. Sign Up Bill Reminders Via Texts and Email
Your own calendar reminders may be enough. Another approach is to use a specialized app for organizing your money and reminding you about bills. You may also be able to sign up for alerts directly with creditors and vendors. Most companies offer payment reminders via texts, email or both. Opting-in for this service can add another layer of protection against missing a payment.
7. Pay By Phone
Many creditors allow account holders to pay their bills by phone, for free or a small fee. If you regularly pay bills late, consider paying by phone instead. It’s more than likely that the fee charged for phone payment service will be less than the late fee.
8. Pay Bills Immediately And In Advance
Can you pay your bills before they are due? Yes. If you have a really hard time making your payments on time, you might want to consider prepaying your bills to avoid those punishing late fees. Many creditors will allow you to pay your bills in advance, effectively creating a credit. Simply pay each bill when you first receive a statement. Don’t put it off until the actual due date. This decreases the chances of forgetting to pay the bill later.
9. Pay Bills On Payday
Never forget to pay a bill by paying them on payday. When you receive your paycheck, pay off your bills and debts first. This is a smart practice to start, in general. Refer to your bill payment calendar, checklist, or app to know which bills are coming due. It’s much more effective this way, settling off all your debts that’ll be due up until your next paycheck.
10. Keep billing information up-to-date
Creating recurring payments takes the hassle of paying bills away. But you still have to manage your accounts. In fact, you should ensure your billing information is kept up to date across accounts. If your bank or card information expires or changes, then your automatic payments will stop. And if you aren’t paying close attention, you might be hit with a late payment, and this affects your credit worthiness.
Deciding on an ultimate approach can help you pay your bills on time. Pick the right system and follow it, paying bills on time will become easier. It may seem like a huge task, but it’s worth it to help maintain good credit scores, which can help you qualify for favorable rates if you intend to borrow in the future.