Keeping Track Of Bills And Payments

Knowing how to keep track of bills and payments is an important part of managing your finances. It ensures that you make your payments on time, which impacts other aspects of your finances.

Take advantage of these tips on how to keep track of bills and payments.

  • Create a list of bills to pay: Keeping track of your bills and payments begins by knowing what bills you have. This means that you need a list of bills to pay each month or year. Take a moment to list all of your recurring bills. Write down how much they are and when they are due. For example, your $150 cell phone bill may be due on the 15th of each month.
    Remember that some bills are yearly or irregular. You don’t want to forget those bills that come once a year and often aren’t on your radar, so plan ahead.
  • Add your bills to your calendar: One way to keep track of bills and payments is to add a reminder to your calendar. You can use a paper planner to write down when each bill is due every month and the amount. This is a good option if you “live by a planner” and will visit it often.
    Another way to do this is with a digital calendar. You can simply create calendar events for each bill on the date that they’re due.
  • Set reminders to pay them: Setting a reminder to pay your bills works best if you’re already using a digital calendar. All you have to do is add reminders to the bill events on your calendar. This way, you don’t forget to pay them. Don’t worry if you’re not using a digital calendar. You can still set up bill pay reminders using apps on your phone.
  • Put them on autopay: The most failproof way to pay your bills on time is to use automatic payments or autopay. If you feel comfortable, put your bills on auto payment so that you don’t have to think about paying them. This ensures that they’re always paid on time. Most service providers offer this as an option and it’s often a free option inside your online banking platform.
  • Create a bill organization system: One way to stay organized is to switch to digital versions of your bills. This means that you’ll have fewer paper bills and a lot less clutter in your home. Stay organized by creating a bill folder for digital bills that come via email. Once you’ve paid them, you can move them to a ‘Paid’ folder in your inbox or delete them. Another option is to save them in a cloud storage app like Dropbox or Google Drive.
    If you decide to take your organization even further, you can set up an email address just for your bills so that you don’t have to worry about them getting lost among other emails.
  • Use a paycheck budget: A paycheck budget helps you plan for all of the bills and expenses that fall within that pay period. So, for example, you can plan for one paycheck to pay for specific bills while the next covers the rest. There is no one right way to keep track of your bills and when you pay them. The most important thing is choosing something that you can stick with.
    It should also be something that you can easily access to make sure you’re staying on top of your bills. For example:

    • Spreadsheets
    • Budgeting and money management apps
    • A checkbook transaction register
    • Expense tracker sheets
    • Use a hybrid approach (A combination of the methods listed above).

Keeping track of your bills doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can choose a routine that works for you. The key, though, is being consistent.

Here are key times to keep track of bills and payments:

  • When the expenses happen: You may choose to track your payments and other transactions as they happen. This can be done automatically with a money management app that’s connected to your bank account. Or, you can manually log those transactions in your spreadsheet, ledger, or tracker.
  • At the end of the day: Another great practice is to gather your receipts at the end of the day and input them into your tracker. This is also a perfect time to update your budget to make sure you’re on track. Schedule a specific time each night to go over your finances and make sure everything is accounted for.
  • Once per week during your budgeting time: You shouldn’t go more than one week without tracking your expenses. Not only will they pile up, but you may forget. Schedule a specific day each week to go over your expenses and update your budget if you’re not doing it daily.

Managing your finances doesn’t have to be hard. Hopefully, you can leverage the tips shared here to make it easy to keep track of bills and payments.

Green Country offers many free resources for budgeting, improving credit score, home-buying tips and so much more. Check out Your Path to Financial Fitness including Counseling services, BalanceTrack, Webinars, and Online Tools.