Win a Winner!
Writers & Photographers
Berlitz Summer Camp
by Christina Elston
Q: My New Year’s resolution is to make sure my bills get paid on time. Problem is, I tuck them into my purse or put them in a pile and then misplace them. What should I do?
Jodie Watson answers …
What a great new year’s resolution!
In a convenient location of your home, set up a bill pay station where you can keep everything you need to pay bills on hand: checkbook, calculator, envelopes, stamps, return address labels, pen, etc.
Have a spot designated that is just for the bills. You could use a box, a slot, a drawer, a basket, a large envelope, or a file folder; whatever works for you. When the mail arrives, open up the bills right away. Discard the outer envelope and any inserts you don’t need and place the bill together with its return envelope into the spot you designate. Having a place to put your bills between the time they arrive and the time they are due to be paid ensures they won’t get misplaced.
If you don’t already, consider online bill pay. You can set this up through your bank and pay all your bills from there. Keep a list of bills that you need to pay each month and their due dates. Use this to make sure you are up to date with payments.
Instead of paying bills randomly when they arrive, have a schedule for paying your bills on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. It is possible to contact vendors and request a change in the payment due dates to make it more convenient for you and to coincide with when you are paid.
Once bills are paid, file them away using separate labeled folders or an accordion file. You can file them either by the month of the year or category. Remember to check bank and credit card statements and reconcile your accounts at least once a month.
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