Get Organized Mission #3: Organize Your Bill Payment

imageWelcome to Mission #3 of our 52 Organizing Missions.

If you’ve completed the previous two missions Get Organized Mission #1: Fill a Hu-u-uge Trash Bag and Get Organized Mission #2: Detox Your Briefcase/Tote/Bag, congratulations!

Keep up the momentum with this week’s task, which helps you get your finances sorted.

This is one of those high-payoff projects. It takes only a little time to set up yet saves time, bother and possibly penalty charges later on.

Disclaimer: This post is designed to provide organizing help, not financial advice. Please be proactive and decide whether you should talk to a financial professional.

Remember – you only have to spend 30 minutes to complete the basic mission. If you want to go further check out the Extended Organizing Mission Options below.

Ready?

Get Organized Mission #3: Organize Your Bill Payment

Step 1: Gather copies of all your regular bills

Your regular bills might include:

  • Mortgage/rent
  • Utilities
  • Internet
  • Cell phone
  • Landline
  • Car loan payments
  • Credit card payments
  • School fees
  • Subscriptions.

Step 2: Set up automatic bill payment where available

Many of your regular bills may be automatically payable each month from your back account or credit card. Check for details on the back of your bill or look up your account online.

You can generally set up automatic payment by phone, online, or by using an ancient type of admin called ‘a form’. (Don’t fight it – whatever effort you make now will be worth the saved time, money and hassle.)

It goes without saying that you need to be able to cover these bills from your credit card or bank account. But I’ve said it anyway.

Step 3: Set up internet banking or phone banking

Ideally, all your bills will be automatically payable. If so, your organizing mission is complete and you can spend any remaining time tidying your financial papers.

For any bills that aren’t automatically payable, set up internet banking or phone banking to pay these bills at your convenience. Phone, visit or get online to set up your accounts.

Ongoing

When a bill arrives, check whether it will be autopaid. The bill will say something like: ‘Payment of $287 will be made by autopayment from your credit card on 28 November 2009. Please ensure funds are available on this date.’

If it’s a pesky one that can’t be autopaid, diarize the due date. If you use something like Outlook you can set a reminder, too. And on the due date, pay it.

Alternatively, if you have several bills that aren’t able to be autopaid, you might prefer to save time and batch the tasks by paying them all at once, online or by phone – but before the earliest due date.

Dos & Don’ts

  • Don’t procrastinate on organizing your bill payment. These 30 minutes of personal organization will save you time – and possibly money – every single month.
  • Do keep any passwords for phone or internet banking safe and secure. Be organized and smart!

Extended Organizing Mission Options

Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission?

  • Since credit card payments are at the higher end of interest charges, pay them off in full in each month if you can.
  • If you have high-school-age kids, this is an excellent mission to complete with them. Teach them valuable financial and organizing skills all in one go.
  • If you have ancient bills and receipts you no longer need for tax or accounting reasons, consider shredding them now.

Ready, Set, Go!

Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.

Before You Go – Please Check In

You’re now accountable to your organizing mission-mates! Once you’ve completed this week’s Get Organized Mission please add a comment to let us know you’ve done your assignment and you’re keeping your commitment.
(Click ‘Comment’ at the very top of this post or scroll down to the bottom. Depending on how you’re viewing this post, one of those options will be available for you.)

And see you back here next week!

Update

You can get your weekly organizing mission delivered to your inbox.

Click here to sign up for 52 Organizing Missions.

Image by *_Abhi_*

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Michele | Get Organized Gal

Michele is into writing, books, simplicity, love, TV, productivity, and staying thin in a world of chocolate.

145 thoughts on “Get Organized Mission #3: Organize Your Bill Payment

  1. Lisa says:

    Spent the time to sort out online access to my credit card account, a task I’ve been avoiding for some time. Would’t have gotten around to it without this impetus.

  2. Jenni says:

    I set up my car payment online, which will make things easier. I’m not able to do everything by draft just yet, but I will get there. However, I did get a large calender to write down bills as they come in and circle them as I pay them. I also have a bill organizer where I put the bills for safekeeping until I can pay them. I know it’s a bit old fashioned, but it works for me right now. I will definitely revisit this mission in the future.

  3. Jan says:

    I divided my bills into those that need to be paid by the 1st of each month and those that need to be paid by the 15th of each month. On or a little before the 1st and 15th I go though my bills and pay them. Most of mine are automatically deducted so I just have to document in my checkbook what they are. I tried to even up the amount due on the 1st and 15th that way my paycheck covers my bills and I have the same amount due. A bonus of paying bills this way is that the months when I get 3 paychecks (because I get paid every other Friday) I feel like I get an extra check to do with what I please- no bills coming out of it. That happens twice a year for me, BONUS!!

  4. Joan says:

    Finances are not my strong suit. But because I already have online bill pay set up for all of my bills, it was easy. Now I plan to log on once at the end of each week, and schedule payment for the bills that came in throughout the week. If they’re not due for several weeks, I can schedule the payment for the due date, and don’t have to worry about going online to make the payment closer to when it’s due.

  5. Lene says:

    Mission #3 is completed. I have all my bills on online banking and I have managed to reduce the bills by stopping subcriptions and paying with visa if ordering something off the internet. I have also finally mananged to find out how I can pay off the credit card bill more often than the monthly bills.( this is a relief). In conclusion I now feel in control of my economy.

  6. Michele Connolly says:

    @Yvonne: I’ve seen your posts on the blog Yvonne and you’re doing a fantastic job of organizing your life! I think you should feel really proud of yourself. Thanks so much for your lovely comments, too! ♡♡♡

  7. Yvonne says:

    I done this last beginning of the month because by financial stuff got out of hand . but i have been following my monthly and weekly budget and it making a difference. I am not trying to save for out family hoilday thank you so much. i have been using your Life & organizer. Now i am using you design your life and 52 mission im now so motived and inspire to do more

  8. Heather Sinclair says:

    Nice to be able to read any tips people add here. It all helps. My bills are organised, you have given me the incentive though to go and rid more old bills and clutter from years ago.
    Thank you

  9. Chris says:

    Mission #3 has come at a good time as I was only saying to my husband two nights ago how we need to go through our bills and make sure that the money we put aside each pay is still covering our bills, (what with the rising costs that have been sneeking up on each bill). When we first started out with our “system” we struggled a bit, but now we never stress about paying the bills, as we know that the money is in the bank. I am thinking if I do one of the bills each night – ie Monday – electricity, Tuesday – phone/internet etc, then I will have done them all by the end of the week, and my mission will be complete!

  10. Michele Connolly says:

    @Jenny

    I see you’re a 52 Organizing Missions customer, so I’m going to send you a couple of little gifts that might help:

    * DEBT REPAYMENT WORKSHEET from the Ultimate To Do List Pack | Home & Family Edition
    * DEBT REDUCTION PLAN from the Ultimate To Do List Pack | Personal Edition.

    I think they might help you feel motivated and organized to reduce your debt.

    Best wishes,
    M 🙂

  11. Jenny says:

    I pay all of my bills by direct debit already so I took this half an hour to make a spreadsheet to show me exactly how much money goes out of my account each month, I subtracted this from my monthly wages to show me how much I have to live on each month (not much!)

    I am determined to be more in control of my finances this year so now I know how much I have to live on I will take out £25 a week LESS THAN THIS and just try and make the cash last rather than spending willy nilly. If I can do this then I’ll gradually reduce my debt and will be in a better financial position by January 2012.

  12. Michele Connolly says:

    @Kana: If mission #3 is a sticking point, just leave it for now and move on. Yay – how good does that feel!

    Get some of the other missions done, and come back to this one when you feel motivated to tackle it.

    You’ll probably feel relieved and make a lot of progress in other areas.

    M 🙂

  13. kana says:

    Yeah, I’m really a procrastinator and this is where I am seeing it! I’ve got Mission 26 in my e-mail and I’m barely getting to Mission #3. Well, seeing that I don’t always have time/internet connection at the right time, I guess it’s ok. I really loved mission #1, I’ve stuck to it, and continuously stick to it, I even suggested it to family members, and they have all taken a liking to it. 15 minutes once a day…we all don’t pick up at the same time, but we’ve all managed to pitch in here and there on one day and it makes for one clean home 🙂 Thank you very much for that!! 😀

    Bill organization is going 2 b hard tho…I just can’t trust companies with my accounts. I did try it b4 & had problems. But I’m going 2 try paying them all at one time…that might work 4 me & record the confirmation #s. 🙂

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