I decided to talk about this subject because I don’t pay my bills the same way I did before I started budgeting. I always paid what you might call, “panic-paying”. 😄 I’ve panic-paid bills for probably most of my adult life. And I know for a fact that many others pay this same way.
So what this means is that every Friday, since this is how often Joe gets paid, I would really hope that we had enough money for whatever bill was due that week. If we didn’t have enough, then it was like a game, of what has to be paid and what can get away with being paid the next week.
You know that saying “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul”? That was me! If I wanted something, would charge the purchase on a credit card, just so I would have enough to pay my monthly bills. I was charging with Peter – THE BANKER, to pay Paul – THE BILLS.
Then I decided I no longer needed or wanted “Peter” in my life. 😉 And I’ve actually not borrowed from Peter in over a year!!! I stopped purchasing on credit cards January 2018 and nothing horrible has happened. In fact, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because now I pay my monthly bills, stress-free!
So how do I do it? First, I think we can all agree that the crazy changing of numbers in our utility bills are ridiculous. I live where it can get extremely hot and extremely cold, so my utility bill numbers would change frequently.
So what I opted to do is to go on the budget plan for each of my utilities. This is when the company totals up your previous twelve months of usage and charges you the average amount monthly rather than a fluctuating cost. After another twelve month, they will put you on a new budgeted amount, so the amount should only change about once a year.
However, it’s still very important to look over your statements each month. Unfortunately, some utility companies are not always honest and have been known to overcharge their customers, especially cell phone companies.
So to get on a budget for each of these companies, go to their website and register your account. Once you sign up, many will have an option to go on a budget so it will only take a few clicks and you’re good to go. Others may not and then you’ll have to either email or call them to ask.
And although you can, I don’t pay any of my bills on these utility or insurance company websites. I find it much easier to just pay them in one place. So I have them all set up to be automatically paid with my own personal bank.
In my personal budget, I list all of my monthly payments, add them up, take the total and divide it by 4. That amount is what I take out per paycheck. If you’re paid twice a month, you divide that by two and if you’re paid once a month, don’t divide anything and just put that total aside per paycheck.
What I mean by “put that total aside,” is that I have it set up to automatically transfer, every Friday, from my main checking account to my second account that I call my monthly expenses account. So every Friday, ¼ of the amount I need for my monthly bills is automatically transferred into that second account.
I do this because when you pay a bill online, it can take up to seven to ten business days to clear your account. The majority of these payments don’t take that long to clear but I like to know, right away, exactly how much I’ll have to pay down the debt each week. And if you’re not in debt, then how much you have to put toward savings or investments each week.
But after solving the differing in amounts due each month, I still had to figure out how to remedy all the different due dates. So I took whatever the due date was on each bill, when I first started this, and set them up to be paid ten days before each due date. Each bill is set up as recurring, so all I have to do when I get these bills, is take a second to look them over and I’m done.
I don’t sit down and spend an hour on bills anymore
I don’t stress about bills anymore
I don’t dread bills anymore
As for “Peter and Paul,” I am still in debt but I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m no longer suffocating just beneath the surface of the water. That’s what debt feels like for me. Whatever it feels like for you, don’t let debt control your life anymore. 😘
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