In our home, I take care of paying the bills and running the day-to-day operations of what we like to refer to as “Palau Industries”. I used to spend hours with this daunting task, but thanks to a combination of advanced technology and implementing some practical strategies, this once cumbersome task is a thing of the past.
Unless you outsource having your monthly bills paid by a service (yes, folks there are companies who do that!) Someone (perhaps YOU) is charged with the task of managing the household finances.
Regardless of whether you have a dedicated home office, or a makeshift one (such as the kitchen table), there are basic practices that I recommend following to keep from having bills pile up.
1. Use a shredder: investing in a shredder is great, but you need to use it. Make sure you place it in a location that is convenient for bill paying.
2. Set reminders: If you use an electronic calendar like ical or googlecal, set a recurring reminder for the dates you pay bills. For me its always around the 15 and 30. If you schedule it, you are less likely to forget to do it.
3. Pay bills online: Online bill pay is a “no-brainer” for everyone with a computer. If you are younger than a baby boomer and still writing all your checks out manually, you need to get with the 21 century.
4. Take advantage of recurring payment options to avoid late fees: While you are setting up your online bill schedule, consider scheduling recurring payments for monthly bills that do not fluxuate such as your mortgage, cell phone, insurance, etc.
5. Request ebills: In an effort to be eco-friendly and eliminate paper clutter, request to have your bills sent to you electronically. Flag the emails and on bill paying day, you’ll know exactly where to find them.
6. Establish an “Action” and “Reference” bin for incoming mail: Say goodbye to misplaced bills. Keep regular mail separate from bills by creating an “action” bin for bills that need to be paid.
When I made these changes to my old routine, I cut out hours of wasted time each month and so can you! If you need help getting your home office set up, sBo can help.