Organizing The Bills

February 9, 2011 by  

Bills are like Laundry – Never Ending and they cause us stress

moneyWe all have to pay the bills (yucky poo) and keeping good credit while doing so is important.

If your bills aren’t organized, they will get out of hand. Then you end up with late payments and a mess on your credit score.  I had a client that as we cleaned off her kitchen counters and island (where she did her bills) along with a couple other rooms in the house.. we found no less than a dozen credit cards (I bet it was closer to 2 dozen.. no lie) that had her name on it.. and just needed to be activated.  I saw her one afternoon pick up one of the cards still stuck to the paper and use it to pay a bill that was late.  I felt bad for her. Her bills and financial situation were so “cluttered” .. and had become something that was totally out of control for her.

I am not going to tell you how to manage your money.  But I will put out my piece of advice – if you use credit cards… pay them off in full each month.

What I will do is show you the system I use for paying my bills.  There are a zillion different ways.  I would love to see your system! So be sure to write a post and show us… so we can help others.  Then link it up.

The bills come in and I put sort them like I showed you in my Mail – Mission Office post. I reorganized my one mail slot to have a little more order than I did in my other post. (I’m still adjusting in my new office… there are lots of little tweeks that I am making)

billsThe top left is where my bills go after I have sorted out the mail and these are things that have to be paid.  The bottom basket is everything (other than envelops) that I need to get my bills done.

I brought up this little mail sorter from the basement and it fit in this cubby perfect.  It took me from this:

To this: Looks much nicer doesn’t it?  I hadn’t figured out what I was going to use when I took the first picture.

bill sortingI separate – on the left are bills that haven’t been opened.
The first slot of the sorter are bills that need to be paid
In the middle slot I now have our payment book for the car and my bill payment sheets
In the last slot I have a few things that I need to keep close at hand when paying bills.

It is just a little metal sorter that I have had for years.
billsI keep track of my bills and what I have paid by hand.  I make up a “bill pay” sheet each year, or just copy last years as I did this year (even forgot to change the year a the top – but it is just for me to see, or my hubby…so no need for glamor)

I keep it right in with my bills, so I can always look to see what I have paid and what I still need to pay for the month.

I put the months across the top and the bills that we pay down the side. As I pay it, I write in the date I pd and the amount I paid.

bill pay sheetI know this could all be done online, but there are some things I still just like to hold in my hand.  I like having it there with my bills, easy to see, hubby can see anytime.  I actually have two of them.  The tan one is all my regular home bills.  Then I have one with purple spaces on it, it is my bills for my business and some other finances.

I use a combination of actually paying the bills.  I do mostly online bill pay.  I have a few automated each month that are always the same.  It makes it nice to be able to go in and check the payment, write in the amount, pick the date you want it paid… and be done.  Be sure to always document your confirmation numbers though.

online bill payThere are always some bills that aren’t in the system (usually medical) that I don’t want to set up an account for. I just pay them by check. (Aren’t my M&M checks cute? Love them)

check

Here is the process I use when paying my bills:

1) Bills come into house – sorted
2) Pay twice a month
3) Pay online – all regular bills
4) Pay by check any others that have to go out
5) Document confirmation # or Ck # on the bill stubs
6) Document payments on my bill sheet
7) Put bill stubs in my “to be filed” bin.
8) Stamp up my bills going by mail and send them off

I also have everything close at hand to get bills ready to go out the door.  The basket on lower left below my bills has everything I need other than the envelops to get the bills out the door if they go by mail.

I have a calculator, return address labels, stamps, stamper for checks (for deposit only for my business) and staple remover.

stampsI have my envelops in the drawer right beside my office chair.  It is easy to get to them.  Two different sizes, I always get the envelops that you can’t see through. If I end up with others, I give them to the kids to use for lunch money, etc.
Tip: Tear off the lids to the boxes for easy access.
envelops

That is my process – I hope it can be of help. But I would love to hear yours.. share it to help others with what system might be best for them!

Your Mission if you chose to take it is: Show me your Bill Paying Process!

Organizing Mission Monday

Link up Your Office Mission Post

You can find the linky by clicking on the button above or going to my Organizing Mission Link Party. Feel free to keep linking up your different office projects that you accomplish during this Office Mission. I am ok with also linking up organizing projects that aren’t office related. This link will be up until Feb. 24 so you will have time to add your office projects in.

I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once per day. Just click the button. Thank you!

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Comments

5 Responses to “Organizing The Bills”
  1. Christin says:

    Thanks for sharing this, I REALLY appreciate it! Been looking for examples of an efficient system. Will give this a try. Thanks for all the detailed pics. Photographing and uploading, then adding captions is all a project in itself, thanks for the effort!

  2. Sandy says:

    Thank you Christin!

  3. Michael @ barbie movies says:

    thanks for sharing this.because of very busy schedule sometimes
    i don’t remember where i put other bills.
    keep on posting useful tips…

  4. jessica says:

    Where did you get the little baskets?

  5. Sandy says:

    I think I got them at an Old Time Pottery store a couple of years ago. I purchased them as an idea for a client who didn’t like them. But as I remember they were such a good deal I kept them rather than return them. I had been using them in another area of my house, but they were too perfect for this.

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