I don’t know about you, but I think I paid more late fees last year than I did when I wasn’t a steadily employed, mostly responsible adult. Let me assure you, there is nothing stylish about late fees. Technology made it easier to pay most bills, but also created a bit of organizational confusion. There are some bills paid automatically, others online and a few that require bank bill pay or check. Even the way they arrive is difficult to track, some bills arrive via email, others in regular mail and a few arrive in a coupon book at the beginning of the year.
I’ve tried to simplify, but there are always a few companies that will not stick to the plan. For example, to get the best deal on cable I was forced to enroll in EFT. At first glance this seems like a great idea, but then I spent hours trying to get someone in customer service to help me because my cable box stopped working a month ago. Finally, I stopped the EFT and had someone on the phone in a matter of days. I restarted the EFT, to get the discount, but I dare not put the rest of my bills on EFT.
To avoid confusion (and late fees) I created this handy monthly bill organizer (download for free here). That way, even if a bill accidentally goes to my junk mail, it won’t be overlooked.I still use my Financial Organizer to keep anything I might need for future reference or taxes. I use a separate bill tracker for medical bills. Then keep my Health Savings Account Statements, Statement of Benefits and Medical Bills in a Paperwork Organizer until I reconcile and pay them.
So far this new system works like a charm. My cable is still acting up, but otherwise I’m in good shape.