Paying Your Bills On Time Shouldn’t Be Complicated
Paying your bills on time is one of the best ways to avoid debt. Without having to worry about late fees and missed payments, you spend less money overall and get more bang for your buck. You also enjoy a better credit score, which is amazing because you can qualify for low-interest loans if you decide to buy a house.
Why Paying Bills On Time Is Challenging
The tricky part of money management is that if you’re like most people — me included — it’s easy to forget when it’s time to pay specific invoices. Working parents, college grads — busy people have a lot of things going on that compete for attention. Add the fact that the many companies bill you on different days and you have a recipe for skipped payments.
How To Remember To Pay Your Bills
Here are some things that can help you remember to send payments on time every month:
1. Consolidate payments: If possible, merge payments for multiple services, such as getting
your mobile phone plan, landline, internet access and cable TV from the same place. I know
you’re thinking, “But Bill, don’t you always tell me to shop around for the lowest prices on
everything?” And that’s smart, normally, but if you’re having trouble remembering to pay bills, the simplified billing may be worth paying a few extra bucks.
2. Schedule bill night: Make a date night with your bank account. If you do it right, you only
need about 60 minutes to pay every bill coming due. I schedule accounting time every two
weeks because my bills are dispersed more, but if you have recurring payments for most
things, you can probably get away with one night a month.
3. Use online auto pay: Many of the essential services you use every month now come with
auto-pay features. Recurring subscriptions mean you never have to worry about forgetting a
bill. Now, I don’t normally recommend tons of recurring subscriptions because they make it
easy to overshoot your monthly budget, but they do simplify bill paying significantly.
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How To Pay Every Bill in 60 Minutes Max
These days, you don’t really need a lot of time to send payments. The key is to set up your
checking account for online bill payment. This lets you handle most bills with a few clicks.
First, open your checking account’s online bill pay center. Next, add the account numbers for the different companies that bill you. After that, you can set auto-pay options and recurring payments for bills that are always the same amount every month.
In the case of payments that vary from month to month, such as your credit card bill, you can
submit payments directly online. In this case, set some reminders in your online portal so you don’t forget to send the money. Reminders are a big help for annual payments and taxes, too. True, it takes a while to put all of the related account numbers for online pay into your checking account page, but it’s worth it. You can pay your bills in 30–60 minutes without signing a single paper check. One or two nights a month is all you need to manage your finances like a pro.
Thanks for your input. I do a lot of that already. I do have a question though. I pay my credit card the same time each month, is there a time in the cycle that’s better for your credit score? Like half way through the cycle, or closer to when it’s due? Do the credit score companies check at a certain time each month?