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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Never Again Pay a Bill Late (Foolproof Billpaying System)!

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Never Again Pay a Bill Late (Foolproof Billpaying System)!


Let this month be the LAST month that you pay a late bill. Follow this easy method to stay up-to-date on your bills at a glance. Use the sample word document at the end of this article to print out and fill in your own bills as we go along. The first step is to have a corkboard bulletin board near your computer. I also recommend that you sign up for an online billpaying service. Most banks offer this free now. It is not necessary to have an online bill paying account in order to follow what I am about to tell you, but it is useful.

Gather all your bills and statements for your accounts. You don't want to leave anything out! The top of the sheet is labeled "Billpaying Checklist 2007". You are going to list each of your bills down the left-hand side, in the order you receive them in the mail. In the next column you will type in the day of the month the bill is normally due. You will list all the monthly bills first, then every other month bills, twice a year bills, yearly and so on. If you have any irregular bills, list them last.

Then you will have a column for each month of the year. I have some bills that aren't due every month, so to help in my tracking, I put three *** in that space, so I know at a glance, nothing is due that month.

After you complete that last step, print out your checklist and post it on your corkboard bulletin board. As a bill comes in, I will handwrite a letter designating how I paid it (examples are B=billpay online, C=check, A=American Express and so on). Then I will write the date underneath it that I sent the payment in or the date I have designated to pay it with my billpaying online account. At a glance, I can see what bills have not been paid and what I should be watching out for in the mail. Let's face it, mail does get lost or misplaced and guess who is responsible when a bill does not get paid, regardless if the bill was lost or not? You guessed it...YOU!

If you want to be even more thorough, in the middle of my billpaying checklist, I type in what bills I automatically pay through my online billpaying account. Most online billpaying accounts allow these automatic payments, and it's a great way to take care of some of those recurring checks you write.

At the bottom of the checklist, I type in which bills are automatically paid through either our credit card accounts or our checking account. You also type in the day that bill is paid (or debited from your account). For example, I pay our mortgage and home security monitoring bills automatically, because they are the same amount every month, and it saves me from having to track when to pay something. I still list these on my checklist because if I am looking at the balance of my checking account, I want to make sure that I have enough in my account to cover that.

That about sums that up! Let me know how that works out for you. I do have many more tips to share, and in the coming days, I will be posting more, at least once a day.

In case you missed the download in the article, here it is again...

Download Billpaying Checklist

See this article and others like it on the 108th Carnival of Personal Finance, a collection of finance articles for this week!

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