Thursday, February 14, 2013

Save Money by Staying on Top of Your Bills

Every month those official looking envelopes keep rolling into your mailbox demanding money for the services and purchases that we have received. Nobody likes to look at them, and we certainly hate to part with our money. But you can really pile on the debt and get into a lot of credit trouble if you don't keep up with your bills.


Who has the time to deal with bills?


It can be a real hassle sitting down and writing a check out each month to pay the car note, the water bill and all the other creditors that keep sniping at us for the money we owe them, but not dealing with it can come with lots of bigger hassles. Try taking out a loan or getting store credit when your credit score shows that you tend not to make payments on time. Sometimes you can even have trouble renting a new house or apartment if the landlord does a credit check. But there are ways that you can stay on top of those bills and turn your situation into a positive one rather than a negative one.


Time for an attitude adjustment!


The first thing to think about is your attitude. When you think about how much you hate paying bills, are you really being fair to the creditor. They just want what they are owed for whatever they have provided. Wouldn't you? Are you enjoying whatever it is that you bought or service your received? That money isn't yours. When you can think about it in the right light, that you are enjoying the benefits of having been extended the credit, it can make it easier to sit and write the check or send the money online.


Start developing good habits now.


Come up with a regular routine for paying your bills. One of the reasons we let bills pile up is that we say we will get to them later. All too often later never comes, at least not until the collection agencies start ringing our phones on a regular basis. Develop a strategy that works best for you for paying bills and stick to it. One way might be to pay every bill as soon as it comes in, whether that is in the mail or in your email inbox. With this strategy, you get into the habit of dropping whatever you are doing and breaking out the credit card or check book and making a payment right then and there. This way you know all your bills got paid.


Do it once, enjoy the rest of the month!


Another strategy is to pay all your bills on the same day. This works for a lot of people because they don't want to have to think about bills every day or week. The one catch with this method is that you have to keep in mind the due dates of your various accounts and make sure you pick a day that won't make you late on some of your payments. This will probably mean that you will have to make some payments before a bill even comes in, so you'll have to have your account information somewhere. This is a great way for getting into a regular routine without letting bills take up all of your time. For example, you know that on the 3rd of the month you always pay your bills. So you don't have to worry about missing a payment, or forgetting, because you'll always have something to remind you.


Try automatic payments!


Another option that many people find convenient, especially those who are busy or who tend to be forgetful, is to have bill payments automatically deducted from your checking account. What's great is that most banks provide this service and some even offer discounts if you sign up for bill pay services. The one drawback to this method is that you want to make sure you always have enough money in your account to cover those bills. You don't want to be surprised that your account is suddenly in the negative and your car note hasn't even been paid yet.

So, you see, there are lots of ways to make sure you can keep those creditors at bay and hold on to your own sanity. Who needs the stress? Find a way to stay on top of your bills, and you will be able to breathe easier every day.


Author Bio: Darren Carter is currently a resident blogger at http://www.ppiclaimco.com covering topics such as budgeting and personal finance as well as commenting on the recent banking scandals.


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