Life is busy, and sometimes our bills start piling up. How can you ensure you have enough to pay your bills, your bills get paid on time, and are there any ways to reduce your bill payments? Here are the top 4 tips for getting your bills paid.
1. GET ORGANISED
The first step to getting a handle on your bills is to get organized. Do you get your bills in hard copy by mail or a digital copy electronically via email? Either way, these suggestions will get you organized in a flash!
- Pick a side. Whether or not you prefer hard copy or digital bills, pick your preference and try and get all your bills on the same track. It will be much simpler to organize the paperwork if you have consistency.
- Clean up your payees. Do you pay your bills at the bank, online or on your phone? Make sure your payee list is up to date. Clean out any old credit cards, utility accounts, etc. Having a clean list of payees keeps your mind clear, not to mention it will make paying them a breeze. If you need help, you can call your financial institution or visit them at your branch.
- Schedule it. Grab your favourite type of calendar, be it wall, desk, or phone. Note down the day each bill is due. Use the margin or notes section, or you can even jot it down on the day if there is room. Colour coding a calendar can be your best friend when it comes to scheduling and getting organized. Select a single colour that represents bill payments for reference at a glance.
- Automate it. If you have serious trouble remembering to pay your bills when they are due, set an alarm on your mobile calendar for the day before. You can also set up the payment in advance on your mobile banking app, post-dating the actual pay date. Make sure you consider the cons of auto-pay, too, since it isn’t a complete solution. As a Forbes expert says, “Auto-pay is a tool to simplify your life, not a no-fail budget fixer.”
2. RULE OF THUMB
There is a tried and tested method for paying your bills. Not only will it ensure you pay them on time or by the due date, but it will also help you make the best use of your paycheck and work with any budget. The bill-paying 101 strategy is:
- Note your payday. Note the date and amount of your paychecks for the month. Being conscious of your cash flow is essential in mapping out the breakdown.
- Check your bills. Verify the amount and exact due date of your bills. Notice trends, like bills that all fall on the 15th of the month etc. This can be an excellent mental reminder that specific bills are due with others.
- Prioritize. On payday, pay any bill that is due before your next paycheck. Cash flow is underestimated. It may feel like the right move to paying your bills is to do it the second it comes in and put it behind you. However, using too much of your paycheck towards your bills can leave you short, and in turn, you can get into further debt or risk being unable to pay for essentials.
3. RENEGOTIATE RATES
If you feel that your bills are too high and you are falling behind, try renegotiating the rates with customer service or billing.
- Credit cards and loans. You can contact your lender to see if lower interest rates or consolidation options are available. Lower interest rates mean your payments are going further, and consolidation localizes it all in one place, at one rate.
- Utility bills. Companies often offer promotional rates if you change plans or create new accounts. You can also price match these with your current company in return for you staying on as a loyal customer. Even a reduction in monthly payments of $5 on each bill can save you hundreds every year, making it easier to get a handle on bill payments.
- Insurance, etc. When it comes to life insurance, car insurance and the like, revisiting your contract is essential. Situations change, sometimes for the better, which opens doors and less expensive policies than you may have had access to prior.
- Consider cutting back. After you’ve renegotiated your bills, you may find the overall cost of living still too high and, in turn, the ability to pay your bills less than realistic. It may be time to cut back. With that in mind, you can honestly review your current list of monthly payments and see if you cannot eliminate some entirely or suspend them for a few months while you play catch up.
4. ALTERNATIVE INCOME
You can help pay household bills by looking for alternative sources of income. It can be as simple as a garage sale or as intricate as starting a home business. The following suggestions are sure to help make a dent in your bills,
- Sell your stuff. Whether it’s because they love a deal or want to support a sustainable planet, community sale websites and pages are where it’s at. Go through your belongings and pick out the items that are still in good shape and that could be useful to someone else. We hold on to far too many belongings in the name of how much we paid initially or how nice it is. When it comes down to it, though, if you don’t use or wear it on a weekly basis, it’s time to let it go. Put the money you make on your bills or toward your emergency savings to avoid further debt.
- Monetize your talent. Do you play a musical instrument? Do you have a knack for strategy games like chess? Do you excel in a school subject, be it math, English, French or otherwise? Contact your local elementary schools, high schools and community centers. Let them know that you are available to tutor or teach and use the money you make for paying bills or, again, building your emergency fund.
24Cash is a Canadian company devoted to helping hardworking families make it through tough times. Are you struggling to make ends meet? Are you slammed with bills and are facing unexpected costs like a car repair or home renovation? Our team is ready to guide you through this challenging time and provide an online, simple loan that won’t harm your credit. You can trust our experience, discretion and human service.