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How To Organize Your Bills | Paying Bills Online Or Off
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When your monthly bills come in, where do you put them? Are they piled up in a stack along with the multitude of other mail you receive? Figuring out how to organize your bills so they are easy to find and pay when the times comes takes little effort if you have a routine.

Steps to Take

Make a folder for the most recent bills and label it Current Bills. This folder will only be for the bills that are not paid yet. You can use hanging folders or regular tabbed folders for this. Keep your current unpaid bills in the folder until you pay them.

Creating the Form

Make a simple form for your current bills called Monthly Bill Form. I use Microsoft Word for this. I create a table with six columns and however many rows needed to identify each bill. You may want to make extra rows for those items that do not occur on a regular basis such as Car Registrations, Driver’s License Renewals, Medical Bills, Vet Bills, etc. Title the form Monthly Bills and put the Month and Year at the top.

The first column should be called Description and wide enough for you to name the bill, for example various types of insurance, individual credit cards, rent or mortgage.

The next four columns don’t have to be wide because they are for dates and amounts. These are columns two through five. Title these columns Due Date, Amount Due, Date Paid, and Amount Paid. The information you put in these columns is obvious. Keeping the dates the bills are due on the form helps you pay them on time.

The last column I reserve for any notes I may make. Some examples are the way you might pay them: by check with check number and the name of the bank (abbreviated), through online bill paying and the name of the account used (again, abbreviated), leftover balances due, etc.

Once you have created the form, print it out and put it in the Current Bills folder.

Creating the form may take a little time, but once it’s set up it’s done and you will not have to re-create it again. This is the most time you will have to take and the routine of paying your bills will be easier and quicker from this point on.

Paying the Bills

As you pay the bills for the month, fill in the form you created. Once a bill is paid, write the date, amount paid, and how the bill was paid on the bill then place the bill in a separate folder labelled with the name of the company you are paying. At the end of the year you will have a folder for each bill with each month’s bill in it. You really don’t have to hang onto these for any length of time but I usually keep them for a year or two in case any questions arise that they may hold the answer to when I spot discrepancies in the bills.

Once you have paid all the bills due in a month, create a new form for the next month. You can use the same form you already created and just change the month and year at the top before printing. Save the form once you’ve made this change. This way you won’t have multiple copies of the form on your computer.

And that’s all there is to organizing your bills. Now that you have learned how to organize your bills, you have an easy routine that will save you time when it comes to finding them, paying them, and keeping them paid with no doubts about balances due, dates paid, or methods used to pay them.


Street Talk

Jane Eyre  

Wow, I live on credit cards and Quicken. Of course I always pay them off. I have 15 years of data on everything I've spent right there and it's so easy to look back and compare what I spent on something five years ago. I like the data tracking and I LOVE the frequent flyer miles.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Jane Eyre  

Do you use Quicken or some other program? It's a great timesaver and record with all my bills on autopay.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

No, I don't use any accounting software. Don't really need it. I keep my life as simple as possible and probably have a shorter list of bills and financial complications than the average person. The closest I come to Quicken would be the online banking that I do. But I hold onto my hard copy bank statements for a few years before I feel I don't need them anymore.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

My advise, take all the envelopes throw them in the air, those that land and stand on their edge, pay. Don't have accounts any more been lucky enough to get onto a cash only basis, what we can't afford is not purchased. It was difficult to reach this stage but now we keep to it. Budget setting is a good system to follow.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Yeah, Rob...Cash and Carry...keeps you out of credit card debt....

Reply
  about 7 years ago

That was my problem AnnMarie, credit cards, in some cases, a necessary evil. All I can say now "Been there done that."

  
  about 7 years ago

This is valuable AnnMarie. We constantly track our spending etc and is the single most important thing we do to remain financially in control. As for bills, I have placed everything on a monthly direct debit system in a separate account with an automatic payment to that account for the full amount every pay day. This works wonderfully for me and I think just having a system, as you obviously do, is very wise.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Wow, you got it down, Heather. I pay bills online but all through my bank accounts so I don't have to have or go to multiple sites to pay. I don't totally trust that something won't happen to the online systems so I like a hard-copy paperwork trail. I'm old-fashioned that way but not as much as the elderly many of whom, like my mom, still do everything with paper and hard copy -- thru snail mail yet!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Glad I could help, William. This is my routine and it has worked well for me for years so I just thought I'd share it :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago

great article, i can use any useful information i can get to help me stay organized and on top of my bills. Thank you

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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