Keeping Up with Bills and Banking

November 15, 2008 at 9:38 pm 1 comment

Paying bills and looking over over finances was on my “to do” list today. Unfortunately, it took me several hours to go through everything.

Most of our bills are paid online, some of which are paid automatically. Initially, I was hesitant about automatic bill payment, but I decided to try it, at least with some of our bills – electric, cable and internet, donation (Compassion), and phone. Our mortgage is paid regularly online, and while I was working we were double paying, which meant that the additional principle was different each month, so I was not able to have it automatically deducted. I lost my job over a year ago, and we decided to stop paying additional principle on our mortgage. I did not want to stop, but we are more comfortable with having more in savings than paying off our house. And I am hoping that after our adoption goes through and that is completely paid for, that we can work harder on paying down our mortgage.

We have a Mac and I use the application iCal as a reminder when I need to pay bills. iCal is always open, so it’s hard to miss seeing the “to do” items on the calendar. Since I pay our bills at the computer desk, this works well for me. I recommend you have a calendar or a “to pay” list where you pay your bills, you certainly don’t want have any late payments.

We also use a budget. We have our entire marriage, although it has definitely changed through the years. Initially we wrote down the basic categories and tried to stay within the prices we chose for them. Over the last several years, I have been using an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all of our expenses.

Earlier this year, we discovered Dave Ramsey’s Gazelle Budget. It’s so easy to use and you can just print it out when you’ve entered in all of your information. Keeping a budget will allow you see where your money is going and help you see where you made need to make changes. If you are looking for budget help, you will want to check this out.

For some reason I had not really done much banking recently; apparently it has been over a month. I went over two months of banking statements, paid a few bills, and changed our budget around a little bit. Everything is fine, but I had not planned on spending several hours on banking today. To make things go more smoothly, and take less time, I think I will plan to spend a small amount of time one day each week on banking, instead of doing it monthly or as needed. This should also keep my desk cleaner, not having tons of piles everywhere.

How do you stay up to date and organized with your billing and budget? Do you have any tips you can share?

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Entry filed under: Budget, Organization. Tags: , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Dani  |  November 24, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Another way to keep track of things with iCal is to have it send you a reminder email a few days before your bill is due. That is what I do and it helps to keep me on track.

    Reply

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