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tips from the pros, paying bills

Tips from the pros: organizing the household bills

Thanks to Aim4Order for this month’s Tips from the Pros about organizing your household bills. It will help you stay current and maintain your credit rating.

Household bills – we’ve all got them

Whether you are tech savvy or not, organizing the household bills is a chore that can be simplified and streamlined. We all have payments that need to be made on a monthly, semi-annual or annual basis.

Online banking and bill paying

Most banks have online bill paying. It’s a fairly simple process to set up regular monthly bills to be automatically paid by the bank. An option to pay them as they arrive each month is also available through the bank.

BGE, cable, phone, mortgage companies, doctor’s offices and other businesses will allow you to pay bills through their websites if you do not want to set up payments through your bank. These bills can also be set up to pay automatically or as a one time thing.

If you have a regular check that is deposited into the bank and you know how much your bills are each month, having the automatic bill pay feature will reduce the time you spend writing out checks or paying them as you receive them.

Many companies are happy to go paperless and will send you an email version of their invoice or monthly bill. It saves them postage, printing and paper. And you can reduce clutter by never having the paper pile up around the house.

If you go paperless, create a folder on your computer to save email confirmations and receipts. You will have them handy in one place for tax season when you need them.

Hand written checks

If you feel uneasy with the online bill paying that’s okay. You can still pay bills the old fashioned way with a pen and a checkbook. Paper checks may be the only way to pay some household bills.

Keep any paper bills in a file or folder near your check writing area. A good location is usually wherever you keep your checkbook.

By opening your mail near the recycle bin you can get rid of junk mail right away and then sort it. Place the bills where they belong before the mail starts forming stacks.

Once the bill has been paid, put the remaining part of the bill in a file to keep for tax season. When you are ready to do your taxes, everything will be right where it needs to be.

Keep it real

Always open your bills, even if you are behind in paying them. The temptation is to just let a bill lie there, but open the bill anyway. You never know, maybe you overpaid it and there is a check inside. Stranger things have happened.

Get it done

Set up a time to pay bills either weekly or monthly, whatever works best for your situation. Try very hard to stick to the schedule. By creating these habits, you will find bill paying easier with time.

As always, if you feel overwhelmed by this process, I am available to help. Contact me to set up a time to meet or talk about your household bills.

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