Simple steps lead way to better bill and debt management
On the seventh you realize that you never sent in a payment due on the first of the month. There is no way to avoid the $20 late fee, but to add insult to injury, you now realize you cant find the pay stub at all. If this is all too familiar a scene, you might simply need a lesson or two in bill organization.
A simple key to debt management is bill management. The more organized you are, the less likely you are to rack up those twenty-two-dollars-a-pop late fees. A tried and true method of organizing your bills and credit card statements is to file them chronologically by due date. Something as simple as a file folder will due.
Establishing a system for holding on to your bills until it is time to pay can prevent you from losing track of your statements and will in that way save you time and money.
Taking the first simple step to better bill management is only the
This, however, is only half the battle. The next trick is finding a no-fail method of remembering to pay those bills, and this is a very personalized matter.
One method is to post a calendar on your refrigerator that lists when bills are due. Similarly, post-it notes work well for some, and personal planners work for others. One key to any reminder system is to make your deadline for sending payment one week before the bills due date. This way youre less likely to be attacked with late fees due to slow mail service.
A good back up method is to track the bills that are due around the same time each month with similar minimum payments. For example, if I know my car insurance payment is due by the fifth of each month and that it is usually $80 to $83 each month, it wont matter if I accidentally lose one bill. If the 30th of the month rolls around and I will see on my calendar that its about time to make payment on that insurance, I can go ahead and send out a cheque in my own envelope and play it safe by paying $85, any of which will be credited to my account if its more than what I owed.
Additionally, keep copies of all credit card statements for at least one year in case you need to cheque your records for reasons such as credit discrepancies or proof of purchase. And be sure to look at your statements as you file them to make sure all purchases are yours and all payments are reflected accurately by each of your creditors.
Contact your creditors immediately if you have any problems or
These methods of organization and safeguards against missed payments are just the start of a healthier financial lifestyle for us all.
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