I am the type of person that takes our finances very seriously. Occasionally we might splurge on something, but for the most part we try to save as much as we can and live within our means. I grew up in a single family home, living in government housing with a mother who lived paycheck to paycheck. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the best money habits and there was a lot of money (that we didn’t have to begin with) wasted on frivolous things. I knew that when I became an adult I didn’t want to have a lot debt, poor credit or be irresponsible with my money. Because of this, there are several things I implement into my life in order to stay focused and organized.
One of the things I always do is pay first play later. Back in the day, my husband used to get paid and then excitedly skip on over to the store and spend his hard earned cash on something
stupid unnecessary. He would spend money and then wonder why he didn’t have enough to pay for bills a week later! He just wasn’t wired like me. He never really paid attention to his bank account and would swipe his handy dandy little card without a care in the world. It wasn’t long before he realized that his actions were not beneficial for him or our family.
During our first year of marriage, we sat down together and discussed our goals for the future. We both wanted to own a home, have more children and maybe open up a small business. In order to meet those goals, we both agreed that we needed to put more effort into building our credit, saving our money and organizing our finances. I began to keep a simple spiral notebook that kept track of when our bills were due. As time went on, my needs began to change and eventually I created the Bill & Budget chart you see below. I am proud to say that since we started using these charts 6 years ago we have not been late on a single bill, EVER!
Another habit I have is scheduling very few automatic payments. Call me old school, but I feel that automatic payments make it too easy to miss discrepancies and billing issues. Plus, if you ever change card numbers it can be a pain! Once upon a time I forgot to switch over a card number for one of our automatic payments and even though we literally owed 1¢, our bill was considered late and we had to cough up a $30 late fee. Talk about a waste!!! I can assure you, that never happened again.
There are a lot of resources and printables out there that claim to help you manage your bills, but I have found that most of those are missing important information which make paying bills more difficult. My Bill & Budget Organizer charts not only allow you to keep track of bill names, dates and amounts, it also allows you to organize of the following:
- Usernames and passwords
- Automatic and non-automatic payments
- Confirmation numbers
- Pending payments (when you have completed the action of paying your bill)
- Completed payments (when a bill has come out of your bank account)
- Payment schedule
- Available spending money
- Important account numbers, phone numbers, websites and card numbers
It is super simple. Once a year, I print out my Bill & Budget Organizer and place each page in a pocket protector inside of a 1 inch binder. It takes me about 20 minutes to organize all of our information and then I am all set for the next year! If we add or get rid of a bill, I can simply print off a new sheet and add it to the binder in a matter of minutes. If you are interested in printing out my FREE Bill & Budget Organizer click here then scroll down to the lifestyle section!
What is the hardest part you face when budgeting? Do you currently organize your bills? Do you like having automatic payments? I would love to hear your thoughts!
As always, thank you so much for reading and have a blessed night,