No More Late Fees
It’s one thing if your bills are not paid prior to the due date if you don’t have the funds. It’s another if you are paying late fees because you missed the deadline. The latter is a little easier to solve than insolvency with a few tweaks.
1. The case for paper bills. If you are a visual person, as much as I don’t wish to encourage paper waste, you might need paper bills as a reminder. I recommend that if you have available wall space, use a vertical wall filing system to keep the bills visible until they are paid. File them away or dispose (whatever suits your comfort level) after the payment has been dispensed.
2. Ditch the envelopes. Remove paper bills from their envelopes and look at the amount due. There are 2 psychological reasons here. Keeping bills neatly tucked in their envelopes leaves you with less of an impetus to deal with them. Secondly, by noting the amount, you will need to budget for what you owe lessening the temptation to overspend during the month.
Most envelopes are recyclable, so toss them immediately into the recycling bin to reduce clutter.
4. Change bill due dates to align with income flow. Some credit cards, loans, and utilities will allow you to adjust your billing date. Contact the Customer Service Department to request a due date change that will align more readily with your paycheck deposits. This may or may not be feasible, but it’s worth a try. Having one date each month to tackle all of your bills could save you time, or if your bank account will not accommodate a big hit all at once, stagger to twice a month.
5. Electronic alerts. Set electronic alerts and financial program notifications to remind you to pay the bills as an extra precaution. Select a date and time that you typically have availability to spend a few moments to pay and record the debits.