Do you struggle with making timely bill payments each month? There are a whole host of reasons to get on top of your bills, from clearing your mind of stress and anxiety, to even fixing your credit score and avoiding overdrafts. But, we’re not here to lecture you on why you need to keep track of your bills.
In this article, we shed 6 actionable steps that you can implement today to keep track of your bills. Hope they help!
Let’s dive in.
1. Adjust Your Monthly Budget
Your bills are often the same each month. However, there are times when a new bill might slip through, especially if you were hit with a late charge. Not only that, but even your regular bills can differ from month to month. As such, it’s essential to adjust your budget with every new month.
In doing so, you can be sure to make the necessary adjustments and avoid overdrawing your bank account.
An excellent example of this in action is your electricity bill, which can vary from month to month, and season to season.
As a result, your budget should reflect these higher charges. Keeping track of your monthly budget allows you to make the adjustments needed to ensure that you pay your electric bill on time.
When you get into the habit of being flexible and making adjustments — you’ll find that you can more easily plan and prepare for the coming months.
You might have to buy off-brand products or cut back here and there, but at least you’ll know that your essential bills are getting paid. Plus, you won’t have to worry about paying extra for a late fee.
2. Expense Tracker Apps
Basic expense tracker apps can assist you in keeping track of daily expenses. If you decide to use any of the many free expense tracker apps, make sure you check app store reviews to see what other users are saying about them.
3. Use a Personal Finance App
With the help of a personal finance app, you’ll find that it’s easier to pay bills, keep track of credit cards and credit card payments, manage cash flow, and much more.
With Lumio, you get an in-depth view of where your money is going. It provides you with tips on optimising your income, minimising spending and much more.
It’s not a traditional budgeting or bill management app, as it does so much more than simply tracking your spending and finances.
Lumio’s main feature is its Spotlight function that connects you with specialised products for those in your financial situation.
Here’s one of the coolest bits — Lumio also guides various aspects of your savings and investments to optimise your financial goals based o your personal aspirations.
Lumio is currently in an early build and has not yet rolled out all the features it wants to.
Right now, they only have comparison sections on investment platforms, Robo-advisors, and mortgages, but they plan to introduce marketplaces for savings accounts, cash ISA’s, credit cards, and lifetime ISA’s.
4. Pay Bills Right Away
Do you have a habit of letting your bills creep up until it’s close to their due date? You’re not alone, but this isn’t the best practice.
If you have the necessary funds to pay your bills, and you don’t have any credit card payments due, it’s often a smart idea to pay the bill off right away.
When you get into the (good) habit of paying bills immediately, you are far less likely to get hit with a late fee. This is an excellent way to manage your cash flow responsibly — you’ll be less stressed, and be hit with less surprises.
Those two points in themselves are worth making the change. Just make sure that you keep a watchful eye over your electronic payments. You don’t want to pay for something twice when that money could have gone to something more pressing.
5. Make a Checklist
We recommend having a checklist written up with each month’s expected bills. If something comes in that isn’t on your list, or you see a charge on your checking account that shouldn’t be there, you’ll have a comparison to determine where the error is.
Yes, it’s an extra step and something else to manage. But you’ll be glad you have it at the ready if and when a mistake takes place.
If you’re familiar with spreadsheets, you can slap together a document in no time on your computer. Update it every month to ensure that it’s accurate and up-to-date. In doing so, you’ll be far more likely to catch problems in billing.
6. Consider Two Bank Accounts
Having two bank accounts might seem redundant, but it can make a big difference to managing your cash flow. When used in conjunction with personal finance apps, you may find that it’s easier than ever to ensure on-time payments every month.
So, why two bank accounts?
One account you’ll want to set aside for saving and discretionary spending.
The other account is the one you want to use solely for paying bills.
When you do this, you can ensure that you don’t accidentally use money reserved for bills.
Think of it like having two credit cards.
You just use one bank card for bill payments and don’t touch it for anything else. Many people have found this practice to be a huge help in keeping track of bills, and is an essential strategy if you are running a business (less headaches during tax time!).
This way, you’ll know one is designated for bill payments while the other one is attached to saving money and discretionary spending. Moreover, you’ll be less likely to make spending mistakes throughout the month.