Staying up to date with my bills is not my strong suit. I am an adult, yes. But remembering to pay things on time? Not always done. And this just leads to additional stress because I’m worried that I won’t have the money to pay. Then I get worried about falling behind. Then I get worried about going into debt.
Just thinking about it is starting to give me anxiety.
One of the reasons I struggle with this? I have so much paper clutter around, it’s ridiculous.
This bill paying issue, for me, is threefold: money, time, and organization. I needed a bill paying system that worked and in order for it to work? I needed a system that incorporated time and organization.
Why you need to create a bill paying system
If you struggle with staying on top of your bills, I want to talk to you about a few things.
We may be inundated with bill collectors calling us and that just causes us to further retreat.
You know what I mean? So how do we break out of this cycle?
Our bills keep adding up, and with it, we’re also faced with additional late charges.
As I mentioned above, yes, I am an adult. Yes, I am a marginally organized adult. And yes, I am an adult who has the facade of being incredibly responsible. And I am responsible when it comes to certain things.
But other things? I struggle and I struggle big time.
How to create a bill paying system that works
First, let’s talk about what you need to put this all together:
- A rolling file cart
- a wall calendar
- 2 hanging files with accordion style expansion
- 12 regular hanging files
- address labels
- a calculator
How to set up your bill paying system
Keep the rolling cart near your front door so you can put your bills into it right away. Then, when you are done with that step, you can bring it to the next part of your command center.
The calendar should be on the wall and near your mail sorting station. Pick two dates that you typically pay bills (for example, the 5th and 15th).
On the first accordion envelope, you’re going to label with Bills to Pay by (first date) and on the second file, you label it with Bills to Pay by (second date). These two folders will go in the front of your cart.
The next twelve folders are for each month but only after you have paid them.
In one of the basket areas of your filing cart, you want to keep envelopes (extras), address labels, stamps, and pens. That way, you can have your complete system with you and you aren’t hunting for random supplies when it’s time to pay the bills.
How to use your newfound bill paying system
As soon as the bill arrives, even if it causes you some anxiety, open it and check the due date. Put it into the appropriate file.
Now, on your bill paying days, bring your rolling cart to the desk or dining room table. Wherever it is that you pay your bills.
Get it done.
Once you’ve paid your bills, you have your calculator handy to make sure that you’re still within your family’s budget for the month.
It really is that simple but of course, it all depends on you. If you don’t have paper bills, you can do something similar with your electronic bills. Set up a spreadsheet (in Excel or Google Sheets) with a similar set up. You’ll want one tab for the first date and another tab for the second date. Then, you’ll have to set up the months for each tab.
If this is something you’d like to have, let me know in a comment and I’m happy to make one!