According to Harris Interactive, 23% of adults say they pay bills late (and thus incur fees) because they lose them. Ouch! If you're one of these folks, you need a new system to organize, contain, and pay bills on time.
You might consider the "twice a month" payment system.
Set aside two 6x9 envelopes. Label one "Due Second Half of the Month: Pay on the 10th" and, as you receive them, place inside all bills due between the 16th and last day of the month. Label one "Due First Half of the Month: Pay on the 25th" and, as you receive them, place inside all bills due between the 1st and 15th day of the month.
As soon as a bill arrives, immediately open the envelope, and toss it out (along with any other sales literature that accompanies it).
Next, circle the due date. Tuck the bill into the return-mail envelope and stick them into the appropriate 6x9 envelope. For example, if you receive a bill that is due June 20th, you'd put it in the "Due Second Half of the Month: Pay on the 10th" envelope.
Then, on the 10th and 25th of each month, take out the 6x9 envelope, and pay your bills. To make this process a little easier, fill a small plastic supply box (or use an empty checkbook box) with office essentials such as pens, checkbook, stamps, stickie notes, envelopes, address labels, mini-stapler, and tape. You’ll never again have an excuse to pay late.
After you pay your bills, give thoughtful consideration to the paperwork you decide to keep.
If your expenses are business-related, file statements in a “paid bills” folder. If they are non-work related, you can probably get rid of much of your paperwork. Be realistic and ask yourself why you would need to keep them in the first place. (Remember, most statements are available online if you need them later.) If you really want to keep the statements, file them in a “paid bills” folder and empty it out (shred sensitive material) at year’s end, keeping only the past 12 months’ worth of paperwork.
If you are computer savvy, you might consider paying some or all of your bills online. This eliminates paper and can save much time. Contact the companies from whom you receive bills and see if they offer online bill paying. You'll receive your statement via email, and payment can be deducted directly from your checking or savings account or charged to your credit card with your approval. You can access your past statements online at any time via your computer, keeping your home clear of paper clutter.
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