Paying bills is one of those adulthood tasks that no one likes. But perhaps the only thing that feels worse than sending away money to pay a bill is the feeling when you realize that you've missed a bill payment.
At worst, you struggle to make your bill payments on time. At best, you have plenty of money to cover the bill, but the hassle of paying it is often an inconvenience. Plus, the dreadful combination of online and offline bills can throw even the most organized people off balance.
If you are struggling to organize and track your bills, I have solutions for you! We’re partnering with Quicken to explore some of the ways to make the inconvenient chore of paying your bills less stressful. Check out Quicken here >>
How To Organize And Track Your Bills
Managing your personal finances comes down to what works best for your unique situation. There are plenty of bill pay systems out there. But you need to choose what works best for you. Here’s a look at some of the most efficient ways to manage your bills.
Quicken Bill Manager
Quicken Bill Manager brings bill payment into the modern age. Instead of you tracking each bill individually, Quicken Bill Manager handles the entire process.
The service is broken down into two components - Bill Tracker and Bill Pay.
Bill Tracker tracks all of your electronic bills for you. When a bill is received, you’ll receive an email notification. If you receive bills via snail mail, you’ll have the option to add those into the system.
Bill Pay will take care of actually paying the bill for you. Depending on your bills, you may use a combination of Quick Pay to handle digital payments and Check Pay to send physical checks as payment. Since Bill Pay is compatible with thousands of bill providers, the likelihood of needing to intervene is very low. Additionally, Bill Pay has the capability of paying your bills from up to 10 different accounts.
Not sure you can trust the system to handle this process for you? Quicken Bill Manager offers an on-time guarantee. If it misses a bill deadline, it will cover up to a $50 late fee.
Quicken Bill Manager makes paying your bills as easy as possible. You can get Quicken Bill Manager included in Quicken Premier and Quicken Home & Business. It can also be added on to Quicken Starter or Quicken Deluxe for just $9.95 per month. See your Quicken options here >>
It can definitely be worth the hassle-free bill paying experience!
Spreadsheet Bill Tracker
A software system with all the bells and whistles isn’t the right fit for everyone. If you are looking for a more hands-on approach, a spreadsheet is a great option. This is especially true if the majority of your bills are digital.
You can build a simple spreadsheet that you manually update as you receive and pay bills. I would recommend creating columns to include:
- Date received
- Due date
- Date payment sent
It can take some time to enter the information. But diligently tracking your bills in a spreadsheet will help you stay on track of both paper and electronic bills.
A spreadsheet system is especially useful if you don’t have enough cash in your accounts to set up automatic payments comfortably. With this strategy, you’ll be able to confirm that the money is ready to go before sending out your payment.
Bill Payment Filing System
A bill filing system can help you with both digital and electronic bills.
You can set up bill payment folders in your email account to track your bill payments. Additionally, you can use a paper file folder system to corral your paper bills.
At the very least, you should have two folders -- ‘Bills to pay’ and ‘Paid bills.’ But you can expand your folder system to create more detailed categories. For example, you might decide to create a folder for bills due in the next week versus bills due in the next month.
Tips To Always Pay Your Bills On Time
Bills are a part of life that most of us want to skip through. Of course, it can be tedious to pay bills. But ensuring that your bills are paid on time can lead to significant financial rewards.
No matter which bill payment system you use, implement these two strategies to avoid any late payments.
Use Auto-Pay Options Whenever Possible
Autopay is an amazing feature that will help you make payments by the due date every time. If you have that option, take advantage of it.
However, keep the downside in mind. The dark side of autopay is that the bank may still initiate the transaction whether or not you have the funds to cover the bill that month. This can lead to overdraft fees and late payment fees.
Schedule Monthly Bill Pay Dates
If you can set aside an hour in your schedule each month to tackle your monthly bills, you might be surprised by how much you can accomplish. Pick a date that will allow you to make on-time payments for all of your bills.
When the day rolls around, sit down and knock out all of your bill payments at once. If you have some of your bills set to autopay, it is still a good idea to confirm that the payment went through each month.
Organizing and tracking your bills can be a chore. But you can choose to outsource this task to Quicken Bill Manager if you want a stress-free bill-paying experience.
What we love about Quicken is that it does so much more than bill management. You can track your income and expenses, follow up on your investments, plan for future events like retirement, and more!
Quicken is a solid personal finance tool that can help you manage your total financial picture!
How do you plan to organize your bills? Let us know!
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.