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One important aspect of making sure that everything runs smoothly is making sure that the bills get paid. I don’t know about you but sometimes it gets hard for me to try to remember when things are due and how much to pay.I mean you have the normal bills like the utilities that need to be paid once a month, sometimes you have other bills that are semi-annually or annually, and then you get the unexpected bills like payments on an appliance that just had to be replaced.
The bills have to get paid or we will find ourselves sitting in the dark or with no place to live. We may find ourselves with no way to go anywhere either. Not too mention those outrageous late fees! With so much on our already full plates it can be so easy to overlook something every now and then. Knowing how much is due and when it is due is a big challenge for some people. How do we juggle all of our responsibilities and make sure that everything and everyone gets paid?
It helps to designate a place for all of your bills to go. Then you can use a variety of options to keep up with them. You could just make a simple file by due date or you can write them on the calendar every month to remind you. I have some of them set up on my Cozi calendar to remind me about them. I also have an Excel worksheet that I created to help me stay on top of this. I am a visual person and it helps me to see it all written down in front of me. This sheet of paper is folded and placed into a desk drawer where I can easily access it when needed.
If you don’t have access to a Excel or another software you can always keep up with your bills in a notebook. Just use what you have on hand and what works best for you. Below is an example of the worksheet I created for my house:
I have a place for the name of the bill, the due date, and the amount due. The ‘ACCT’ section is to remind me how the bill is set up to be paid. The abbreviations stand for:
BP = Bill Pay through my checking account
** = Set up through the Bill’s site
CC = Set up to be billed to my credit card. (This is usually for the ones that don’t happen on a monthly basis.)
You should make your own abbreviations that you will be able to remember. It may be a good idea to write down a key somewhere also in case you forget or in case someone else may need to take over bill paying if you were sick. Keep it simple!
I also have a column for each month. I shaded them to just help keep my eyes from playing tricks on me.
This next picture is of the bills that are paid on a monthly basis.They are listed in order by the due date. I try to pay the biggest majority of my bills around the beginning of the month. This method may not work for you or your family. Make sure you know when the bills are due and pay them according to your pay schedule. After the bill has been paid for the month I simply put a ✓ in the box under the month.
For the bills that only happen every other month, or like the pest control which is every three months, I simply shaded out the other months. For the refrigerator I only have a couple of more payments, yay, so I shaded out the rest of the months.
This next picture shows the annual subscription payments that I currently have. This serves as a reminder for me to evaluate whether I really need/want to keep these services before the due date. I do have them set up to charge to my credit card but by knowing when they are due I can try to be prepared to pay them off when they come due.
Another benefit of keeping up with your bills is that you can see where your money is going. If something happens and you need to make changes you can see what is costing you the most and where you need to make cuts. This will go a long ways in helping you to make a budget, as well.
Just remember to keep your system simple and manageable. It won’t work if it is too complicated or if it takes too long to set up or use. I wish you the best in getting those bills under control.