I don’t really have a home budget, because I’m pretty thrifty with most things (with the exception of the occasional modest splurge!), and because I don’t like to use cash much, a written budget wouldn’t work for me. But I do have a system for paying bills on time.
We don’t use credit cards, but here’s a tip from a friend of mine who does. You can use an arrow-shaped sticky note like the one above to remind yourself to pay off your balance at the end of the month. It’s transparent, so you can still see the what’s underneath, and it’s removable so you can re-use it the next month.
Most of our household expenses (our insurance, internet service, and phone bill) are automatically debited from our account once a month. I just record the date and amount in the monthly page in my planner, as in the picture. That way, I can make sure there will be enough in our accounts to cover it.
For bills that arrive in the mail, I like to record the same information, but I also tear off the payment slip, and place it in the week of my planner when it is due. This way, I won’t forget to pay it. You can also set your internet bill-payment system to pay the bill on a certain date so you don’t need to worry about forgetting to pay it.
After it is paid, I usually file it away in a folder, but the Dated Bill Planner from REDSTARink is a great way to organise all your bills in one place. It has a ‘to pay’ and ‘paid’ pocket for each month of the year, and a calendar for marking due dates.
I also like to record the bills that I’ve paid in this yearly record which I made on my computer. I can plan for bills in advance, and avoid ‘bill shock’ when a large quarterly or annual bill arrives in the mail.
I used washi tape to strengthen these pages as I refer to them often
Here is the free PDF of the bill planner: ZoeAtHomeBillPlanner2013.
Join me next time, when I will be showing you a few simple tricks to help you get organised for tax time.
More from this series: