Whenever it is time to pay the bills you may feel stressed and tired. If you are not organized you may end up forgetting to pay some bills, lose some bills and end up paying penalties for overdue accounts. Segregating and identifying the bills that you must pay a different times of the month will make your life easier because you can already anticipate what’s supposed to be paid and the amount that you need to set aside for these bills. You can buy a bill organizer or you can make your own. What is important is for the system to be easy to use and you can immediately your payables. Below are some ideas on how to create a bill paying organizer.
- Create your own system. To save money you can devise your own bill paying system. Start organizing your bills and separate them. Place all those bills that should be on the first half of the month and those that should be paid at the end of the month. Create a separate file for the in-betweens.
- Make a list. Make a list of the items that need to be paid under each period. A simple bill paying organizer will be a notebook. With your list of bills to be paid, separated by the time of the month they are to be paid, add four more columns to the right of the list. Label the columns with due date, total amount of bill, amount paid and balance. Label the top of the sheet with the particular month and year. All you have to do is enter the bill amounts in the columns. Add a miscellaneous payables list, too. Do the process for each month of the year.
- Use an Excel spreadsheet. If you are a frequent computer user, you can make a simple ledger using Excel. Open Excel label the columns with bill name, due date, bill amount, amount paid, date paid and balance. Under bill name, type the name of the bill to be paid, and continue to make your list by typing a bill name in each row. At the bottom of the worksheet you can right click Sheet 1 and choose the rename option and type in the month. You can add more worksheets to the right of sheet one to complete a calendar year. You do not have to repeat the labels as you can just select the whole thing, press Ctrl+C to copy and move to the next sheet and press Ctrl+V to paste. Do the same for the rest of the months and you will have a bill paying organizer.
Now all you have to do it to enter the amount that needs to be paid every pay period. You have the choice to do this using your computer or printing out the worksheets and placing them in a properly-labeled folder. Use the option that works best for you.
- Use a three-ring binder. Buy a three-ring binder and 12 folders with pockets and three punch holes on the side. Buy colored tabs that you can attach to the side of each folder. Label the folders with the months of the year. You can use each side of the folder to separate the payables into the first half and last half of the month. Attach the folders into the three-ring binder and insert the bills to be paid into the pockets each of the folders. Include a pen, paper, pencil and a small calculator and you will have a complete bill paying organizer that you can refer to every time there is a bill that needs to be paid. Use sticky notes to write down reminders and additional notes. Even if you do not have time to open the bills at that moment, just insert them in the right pocket so they will not be misplaced.
Place your organizer where you will be able to see it immediately. Make sure that you religiously update your entries into your bill paying organizer so that nothing will be forgotten. Make it a point to check your organizer weekly and plan to pay your bills before they become due. With any of these tips bill paying will be so much easier and you will be assured that you get to pay your bills on time. Remove those bills that have been fully paid into separate folders and store them in your filing cabinet.