If you struggle, like I do, to stay organize, consider using the following tools. Each one will help you to remember when to pay your bills, send in quarterly taxes, renew your automobile tags, etc.
- Pen and Paper
Print out a blank calendar and mark the day of the month when certain bills are due. Take a look at your calender, say every Monday, and schedule payments as needed. If you have annual payments, list them at the bottom of the calendar and check them off as you go through the year.
Same principal, but instead of printing out a calendar, create a simple spreadsheet using your office software.
- Online – Email Reminders
Online calendars, like Google Calendar, can keep you up-to-date and will even email you reminders or send instant messages to your cell phone. While I like this service, I personally prefer to have a printed calendar, because I’m ‘old school’.
- Online – Email Bills
Many companies and banks will email your bills, straight to your inbox. If you are comfortable with this setup, sign-up with your billers and go paperless. (According to spell-check, “billers” is not a word – but you know what I mean.)
- Email Reminders
Prefer to manually setup email reminders? Check out MemoToMe. Schedule weekly emails and you’ll always know when bills are due.
- Online Bill Pay
If you use online bill pay, you can schedule your payments, and infomercial style, “set-it-and-forget-it”. Personally, I could never, ever use this method. Why? I don’t like the idea of “auto-anything”. I actually enjoy the process of looking at each bill, examining it, and making a payment. I use online bill-pay, but I manually enter each payment. (I also never allow “pull-transactions” – giving a credit card company access to my checking account just seems ‘wrong’.) But, if you are a normal person, and not crazy, like me, you’ll probably enjoy automating the process. 🙂
- Marker and Envelopes
Alright, here’s the quick-and-easy method. Whenever you receive a bill in the mail, open it up, find the due date, put the bill back in the envelope, and write the due date on the outside of the bill. Write it big and bold and then arrange all of your bills by due date. Every Monday, sort through your bills and pay the ones that are coming due.
Banks and credit card companies make billions from late fees. Stop padding their pockets! Pay your bills, early and on time. A little bit of organization can go a long way towards making your life much, much easier.
Do you have ideas for how we can improve our organizational skills? Leave a comment and let us know. If you are a blogger, write a post about organizing your finances, and contact me. I’ll be more than happy to link to your post.