Living on your own for the first time can be empowering. It means having independence and all the things that come with it. Some of those things—like not having to share a bathroom—are wonderful. Others—like killing spiders yourself—are not so fun. And leading the pack in the not-so-fun category: bills.
Bills tend to sneak up on us because they don’t fit nicely into a routine. They all have different due dates, some are delivered to your mailbox and others to your inbox, some need to be paid monthly and others yearly, and some have amounts that fluctuate. It takes a lot of wrangling to get them all under control. That’s why it’s important to create your own routine – your “bill time.”
The importance of “bill time”
Bills may not stick to a routine, but you sure can. No matter how you keep track of your bills, you still need to take the time to manage them. It can be as simple as 15 minutes, once a week. “Bill time” lets you:
- Gather up any bills received that week (especially the ones that like hiding under your junk mail)
- Locate and/or print out any e-bills received that week
- Input the bill totals and their due dates into your calendar (or notebook, or spreadsheet, or budgeting app)
- See what bills need to be paid that day
- Pay those bills (this could be a combination of paying them online and/or writing out checks and addressing envelopes)
- Mark those bills as paid (and revel in your self-satisfaction)
- Look ahead to see what your payment schedule looks like the following week and month
Sticking to the same day and time for “bill time” is important:
- It creates a routine that’s easy to follow
- It saves time by allowing you to tackle several payments at once
- It keeps you organized and aware of your payment schedule
- It’s the best way to eliminate the “out of sight, out of mind” problem that so many of us have with our bills
Now that you have a regularly scheduled “bill time” and you have a stack of bills, it’s time to find a system that helps you keep track of it all.
Stay tuned for our next blog for tips on creating the perfect system to track and maintain your bills.