There are few things I like less than paying bills and budgeting. But both are necessary evils and I’ve created a system, so to speak, to minimize the dread.
When I took over paying the bills in our home a few years ago, my sweet husband was still doing everything manual. Like writing checks, handwriting the return address labels on the envelope, and then manually entering everything into a spreadsheet. It took him hours every time. No lie.
I would rather stab my eyes out than spend hours doing that task so I set out to automate as much as I could. This required enrolling most of the bills into our banks bill pay feature and setting up automatic drafts. However, I was still forgetting to when things where due and it took me several times of paying late fees to finally realize I needed a better reminder system.
So, on this week of How-to ______, here are some really great tools to use to pay bills and set up a budget.
1. Enroll in your bank Bill Pay feature. You set up your bills to be paid on a certain date and do not have to remember anything else.
2. I found two websites that I love and use.
Manilla is my absolute favorite. I have enrolled every single bill that I can into this application and it has saved me hours of time and money by reminding me what is due and then allowing me to pay it right from their site. You have to check it out. Best of all, it’s free!
In order to get a grip on our full financial picture, I started using Mint.com. It helped me to see where all our money was, set a budget, and set up goals and reminders. It’s a fabulous sight and easy to use.
3. I really, really, really like Dave Ramsey for getting out of debt. If you’ve never heard of him or his snowball budgeting, you owe it yourself to read The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness and set yourself up to pay off debt. I have been a fan of his for over 6 years.
Using all, or one, of these tools, you can make your budgeting and bill paying so much easier. Plus you won’t be caught with late fees and overdue bills!