Monthly Archives: May 2005

Bunch O’ Little Bits

Okay…quick notes on lots of things..

1. I have to make a decision about my auto insurance. As of now, we are billed 8 times a year for our auto insurance. We are charged a 5 dollar fee for every bill. That is 40 dollars a year extra. So, I need to decide if the convenience of not having to pay for an entire year’s worth of coverage is worth the 40 bucks.

2. WE HAVE CHICKENS…We went to the local farm supply store this past week, and they had baby chicks. We purchased 4 Rhode Island Red pullets. (A pullet is a female chicken.) unfortunately, 2 of them died in the first week. So, we went back, and replaced those 2 with 2 more Rhode Island Reds AND an additional 2 Gold Sex-Linc chicks. Now we have SIX little biddies. Our 5 year old thinks they are the best things ever…

3. Budget Crunch…We are trying to save, save, save this week, for our vacation that starts next MONDAY…YAY…We have a FREE place to stay, so all we need is spending money, gas money, etc. Going to the beach on the east coast of Florida. We are so pumped.

4. The diet…oh the diet. Do not ask. I did not lose a pound on the weight watchers points plan, because I did a really sorry job of sticking to it. I was just so hungry. So far, this week, I am doing low-carb. Low-carb is the easiest diet ever…meat, eggs, salad, meat, eggs, salad…simple dimple.

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First RANT!

Okay, I am tired of it. Every time I go to someone’s blog or financial website, it is the same old thing. People are trying to pay off their debts and “REBUILD” their credit. Stop the insanity! (Susan Powter…was that her name?…would be proud) People, we are in a serious crisis, and we cannot borrow our way out of it. All of these people using credit cards for all these purchases, just to peruse some stupid “reward” points. Dude…I have a Visa that gives me 1 point for every dollar I spend, and it takes 2000 points to get a reward…Know what 2000 points will get ya? A FIVE DOLLAR GAS CARD…Yay! 5 Bucks. Quit worshiping at the altar of credit card scams, promotions, and deals. These companies make millions and millions and millions of dollars. They know what they are doing. Stop playing with wolves…stop, stop, stop. Call me crazy, but I want to avoid adding risk to my life, because life is risky enough WITHOUT my help. Stay away from credit…run, run, run. Do I sound like an idiot? Probably, unless you THINK about what you are doing with your credit. Are you using credit to purchase things that you desperately need. Is credit a “final” fall-back solution to a huge problem in your life? Your final resort… Or, is credit a crutch that allows you to limp along from stupid financial decision to stupid financial decision…hmmmmmm Thanks for your time…ncnblog

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Bill Pay Follow-Up

In my last post, I gave several suggestions for easy bill payment and organization. One tip that I forgot was this: Call your billers, and see if you can get them to move your monthly billing date to days that are good for your. Almost all of my billers either bill me at the last of the month, or in the middle. This helps for easy organization and planning. (By the way, I do very little “auto-draft” bill payments…I like to take a look at something BEFORE I pay it. The one real exception is my gym membership, which is always the same.)

Here is a chart of most of my current bills and how I have them organized. I use the aforementioned bill organizing tips to pay bills not mentioned on this chart, like medical or other non-regular bills.

Account Paper / Less Day Billed Day I Pay Payment Type
Electric Paper 25th 1st Online Bill Pay
Phone Paper 25th 1st Online Bill Pay
Pharmacy Paper 30th 1st Check
Cell-Phone Less 15th 20th Online Bill Pay
Auto 1 Less 15th 20th Online Bill Pay
Auto 2 Less 15th 20th Online Bill Pay
Credit Card Less 15th 20th Online Bill Pay
Gym Less 15th 20th Auto-Draft
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Organize Your Bills!

Okay, so several have emailed about the site, and I want to thank you all for your questions and comments. If you visit this site, please leave a comment below, and your blog url (If you have one.) Now, some tips on organizing your bills, so that they are easy to find, easy to pay, and easy to file. This is a simple, dimple system that works, even for someone like me who is un-organized by nature.

1. Purchase a “file-folder-box-thing.” Like one of these:
2. Find a nice, neat place to place your bills when you get them in the mail. Also, if you can, go paper-less with your bills. Many of the bills I pay are paper-less. I get an email notification that my bill is ready to be paid, and I go to that website and can view my bill there. For those of you who are nervous about not having a “hard-copy”, simply print out your bill from the website. Also, some online bill-pay services can receive e-bills directly from your billers. This is really convenient.

3. Okay, now you have your bills in a pile, a your file-folder. Hopefully, you are in the 21st century and you are using online bill-pay, but, if you still write old-fashioned checks, that is cool too. So, go through your bills, and get rid of anything you don’t need (extra-inserts, envelopes, etc. etc.) For you nervous nellies, go ahead and shred the stuff you don’t need. I just rip it up and throw it away…I like to live life on the edge.

4. Now, you have your stack of bills, your file-folder, your method of payment (check, online, debit-card, etc.), and you have rid yourself of the junk you don’t need. Organize your bills in one of two ways. First, if you don’t have the money to pay everything, pay the ESSENTIALS FIRST. Now, I would never suggest not paying someone what you owe them…BUT…if it is a choice between VERIZON and your ELECTRIC BILL, for mercy sake, keep the lights on! The second way, and this is the way to do it if you have your financial feet under you and you are paying everything on-time, is to organize your bills by due date (duh!) Go ahead and get your bills totally in order, by due dates, and put them in a nice neat stack. Take your time, and get your head into the bill-paying game. You might even want to check over each and every bill, and make SURE that you are only paying for what you have used or are going to use. Don’t use your calling card provided by your local phone company? Then call and have that charge removed. Little things like that can add up. We were paying for 5.00 worth of local channels on our dish that we never used…I called, and cancelled. They charged me 5.00 to downgrade my tv package, but I still come out 55.00 ahead for the year.

5. Now you have everything in order. If you are mailing, go ahead and get your envelopes and stamps ready. If you are using an online-service, take your stack of bills to the computer. You are now ready to write your checks, or enter your bill-payment requests. Do this now. Don’t forget to pay the bills that are paper-less. Write down (or record on your computer) the dates, accounts, and amounts.

6. Now, take your bills, put your stamps on them, and get to the mail-box. Whew, you are finished with this (days, weeks, months) bills. BUT…you still need to file them. I simply put them into my box alphabetically, placing the newest bill to the back. I also write the date on the bill telling me when I paid the bill. You could also include the check number if you wanted. (Don’t forget to add these transactions to your check-book!) WOW…you are done…that big stack of pain-in-the-behind bills is GONE…go relax…

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