Organize Bills: Let’s Do It!
If you are anything like I used to be you might have a stack of bills stuffed in a drawer (or multiple drawers!); some overdue, some not yet due, some paid, but no organization and no real system.
Bills are very important in the concept of money coaching because they represent a corporation or a utility’s faith and trust in us. Think about it. Many of us think bills are a hassle, an annoyance, money out the door, but take a few minutes to contemplate what they really mean.
We are standing up and stating, “In return for electricity, I will pay XYZ Electricity company for the amount of electricity I use”. And in return XYZ Electricity Company grants us credit and trusts that we will pay our bills in full and on time.
…and then sometimes we don’t.
Do you need electricity? I do.
It was a long road but I am now at the point where I am happy to receive my utility bills. I am thankful for my gas, my electricity, water; all of these great things that make my life much, much easier. In return for the trust that my creditors give me, I commit to paying in full and on time.
Why? Two reasons. First, it keeps the companies happy and willing to keep my lights on, and second, it does wonders for my credit rating.
OK, that is enough about that.
Organize Your Bills
I want you to take one drawer in your home office or kitchen, preferably next to your computer. Nothing goes in this drawer except bills, a pen, your check book, envelopes and stamps.
I mean it, nothing else!
I would like you to make it a ritual that every day when you get your mail, you open every bill immediately. Throw away (recycle!) the envelopes and any inserts that come with the bills. Piles of bills always look scarier when they are all mixed up with torn envelopes and irrelevant information from your creditors. Look at the bill. Take the bill(s), walk over to the drawer and put them in the drawer. That’s it.
Now I want you to use an online calendar (I use the Gmail Calendar; free and great), and I would like you to create a re-occurring weekly event called: Pay Bills. For this weekly event, schedule both an e-mail reminder and a pop up reminder for your computer screen. Done.
Now every week when you get the reminders, sit down, open the drawer, and pay the bills.
If you are using online banking you can log in and take the steps to get them paid. I personally schedule each payment in the future for 3 days before the bill is actually due. (I despise late fees; wasted money I could spend on things I love like shoes and lipstick!) If you are using your check book, write the checks now and post date them for the actual due date. If the company provided you with a return envelope, great. If not, you’ve got envelopes and stamps in your drawer. Drop them in the mail box! Take the pen that is in your drawer and write PAID (and the date) on your portion of the stub. Stick the stub in a file folder marked: Paid Bills.
I cannot stress to you how much better you will feel if you incorporate this system. You should feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders; no more waking up in the middle of the night trying to remember if you missed a payment or can’t remember how much you paid or when it’s due.
This process is once a week and it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.
Your creditors will love you, your credit rating will love you back, and you will be sending a strong message to the Universe that you respect money and can be trusted with more of it.
…and that rocks.