Household Bills. The source of 99.9% of my stress. The most hated of all the chores in the house. The bane of my existence…you get the idea. Every month Matt and I look at each other and wonder why there seem to be more bills than the previous month. Bills come in the mail and get tossed in the drawer immediately because I’m in the middle of something else. Then a couple of times a month Matt will panic and remember the bills stuck in the drawer and scramble to get them all scheduled to pay online. This system we have going on….not so much a system. A couple of months ago we got a final notice from the power company because somehow that bill slipped through the cracks of our “flawless” system- not just once but apparently two months in a row. That vein in Matt’s forehead was throbbing. Something had to give.
Enter my Household Management Binder. I dedicated an entire section to Bill Paying. I knew I needed a simple system that could be done quickly and easily or it would never happen on a regular basis. I took a good look at the problem areas in our bill paying not-really-a system and found the main flaws were tossing the bills in the drawer and forgetting to schedule them. I started planning our new system around fixing those issues.
I found a great monthly bill tracker online for free and printed it out. I love that it’s two side-by-side sheets so nothing is cramped and everything is easy to see. I dug out every bill from the previous three months and listed them all on the bill tracker in order of due date. Most of our bills have set monthly due dates that never change and the few that do not I listed the earliest date it was due in the previous 6 months.
Now when a bill comes in the house it gets opened immediately. I double check the due date with what is listed in my on the monthly bill tracker sheet and make a notation if it’s changed. Beside that particular month’s box I write the amount due. Then I file the bill right away in the household file in my Everyday File Box.
Matt and I sit down twice a month now- on the 1st and the 15th usually- and schedule every bill for online payment. On the 1st we schedule every bill due before the 15th and on the 15th we schedule every bill due before the last day of that month. We check them off the monthly bill tracker as soon as we schedule them so we can see that every bill has been paid. We’ve been using this system for a few months now and I’m pleased to say we haven’t had one late bill and no utility companies have threatened to turn off our services. I guess that means it’s working!
I also printed out a bill info sheet and listed every single account we have with all the important information. Now if we have an issue or a question about a bill we can easily see the number to call and our account number. We schedule our bills to pay through our bank’s online payment system but we manage some of our accounts online still so I listed the web address and log in information for those accounts on this sheet.
It feels so good to get this part of our lives organized once and for all! I feel like a genuine adult now. Ha!
You can see all the posts in my 31 Day Series HERE. New posts are added daily.