Systems for Managing Money

As we move forward in decluttering our lives, we realize taht we all need to figure out a system that works best for paying our bills.

Here are some thoughts for you:

  • Try to have the bill payment automated through your bank. In order to do that, you need to keep on top of your check register and be aware of what is in your checkbook at all times.
  • If that is more than you can handle right now, pay each bill as it comes in. This is what I do with the bills that are not automated. I designate 10 to 30 minutes each day to do that. It might be a good idea to set a reminder/alarm on your phone so you don’t forget. Then if they are not due for a while, I just put a date on the envelope so I know when to send it–or send it right away if I can cover it. I keep all outgoing mail in one area of my home.
  • If you don’t like this system, pick two days a week to pay the bills, maybe Saturday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Friday. Set a reminder on your phone until it becomes a habit. Keep all bills in a specific spot in your home and retrieve them on bill paying day; write the checks, place in envelope and mail right then.

One system isn’t better than another–what matters is to have one that works for you and sticking to it. You will find that this frees your mind beautifully–you never have to wonder if the bills have been paid on time.

Here is another tip: Give yourself permission to start fresh.

If your checkbook is a huge mess, you might give yourself permission to start over. You can even go to a different bank if that feels better. Start a brand new checking account with your next paycheck (or the money that has been accumulating in that “change” jar) and start the automated payments fresh. Within a couple of months, all checks written on the old checking account will have cleared and you will be able to close that account. At the end of the first month in the new bank, make sure you reconcile your checkbook. And do it again the next month. And the next.

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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