Do you struggle to remember to pay your bills each month? With everything else going on in our lives, remembering to pay the bills by the time they’re due can be difficult. However the consequences of late or missed payments can be expensive fees, higher interest rates, and damage to your credit score. Paying your bills on time doesn’t have to be hard, and there are a few easy steps you can take to make sure everything is paid on time consistently so you can stop paying late fees and risking your credit score.
Make a List
The first thing you should do is make a list of everything you owe each month to get a good idea of what needs to be paid. Monthly bills include utilities, credit cards, mortgage or rent payments, cell phone bills, car insurance, and more. Create a list of all of the bills you have to pay and when they are due. Not every bill is going to be due on the last day of the month or the first.
Depending on when you signed up, things like your credit card could fall on a day within the first or last week, rather than the very first day. This can add to the confusion if you have a specific day in your head when you think everything is due, which can make it easier to forget. Figure out what is due when, and which bills are due on the same day so you have a clear idea of what days you need to have your bills paid by.
Set Up Automatic Payments Where You Can
For some of your bills you can set up automatic payments through your bank. For example, your credit card company probably has an option for automatic payments, meaning each month the credit card bill will be paid through your bank account without you having to remember to do anything. You won’t be able to do this for all of your bills, but it is extremely valuable to set up automatic payments for the ones that you can.
Even though you have automatic payments set up, you still need to pay attention to how much is in your bank account. The golden rule is to never spend more than you have. Credit card debt and overdrawn accounts can add up quickly and seriously damage your credit score. The last thing you want is to be calling a bankruptcy lawyer because you have nowhere else to turn. Paying your bills, even automatically, is also about ensuring that you can afford those bills each month to avoid financial difficulties in the future.
Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beach goer operating out of Southern New Jersey.