10 Steps to Financial Independence: Step 3
Not sure how to keep your bills under control? No problem! We’ve rounded up a few time-tested tips to help you stay on top of bills, avoid fees and sleep well at night knowing that you are building a great financial foundation.
STEP 3: GET A HANDLE ON BILLS
Set yourself up for success
The two primary reasons bills get out of hand are the lack of organization and out-of-control spending. Once you develop a budget, it is a lot easier to manage your spending; so if you haven’t yet, take a step back and do it. You’ll thank yourself later. Once you have a budget in place, go through and confirm the dates your bills are due.
Create fail proof reminders
Most banks have bill pay. You can add all of your bills and due dates in bill pay settings. It doesn’t mean you will be automatically charged, but it does mean that you can manually pay bills via online banking and your bank will send the funds to the intended recipient. Alternatively, you can use a financial app to manage payments. If all else fails, enter a reminder for each bill in your electronic calendar. The goal is to get bill payment notifications monthly before each bill is due.
Automate your bills
Unless you make a lot of money, it’s not always practical to set up automatic bill payments. Let’s be honest, things happen and sometimes these automatic payments wreak havoc in our checking accounts. Multiple insufficient funds fees can be a lot more costly than a single late fee, so sometimes, it’s better to absorb the latter.
A good rule of thumb is to automate bills that absolutely must be paid, like auto insurance and student loans, as well as bills that offer discounts for automatic...