BILL SCHEDULING IDEAS

Most of us struggle with paying everything on time. It can be really difficult to keep up with when your life is really heavily scheduled out already. Paying bills is not exactly everyone's favorite thing to do, so having a schedule set up with amounts and everything already planned out will make the task quick and easy for you. Stop being late and start being in charge of this area of your life. When you do, you'll realize just how much pressure you were putting on yourself before.

1) Call around and figure out which bills due dates you can adjust. I like to make all of my bills due at the end of the month. However, I try to pay them all at the beginning of the month. This way, I'm able to sit down once, on the first or second day of the month, and pay everything. If I don't have enough money or if an emergency arises, I still have another payday coming before anything is actually due. If I do get everything paid on time, I put what I can out of the second payday into a savings account where it can draw interest until the next bill paying day.

2) Automatic payments can help you or ruin you. If you have too many coming out at different times of the month, then you're likely to get messed up. You'll think you have money in the bank for something, but forgetting about the automatic payment that's coming out the next day, you're bound to bounce something and overdraw your account. If you do have automatic payments set up, try to have them all come out of your account two or three days after you know your paycheck will be deposited. I have mine come out a couple of days after my second check. Remember that I pay all of my bills manually on the first of the month, so I'm sure my money won't be running low on the 19th when my automatic payments come out. I wanted to have more automatic payments on that date, but if they couldn't do it exactly when everyone else did, then I put them on my list of manual payments.

3) Use your bank's web site, if you can, to pay bills. This helps you to keep track of everything in one place. Call around and get the averages of your bills so that you can pay the same amount every month. I pay $2,400 a year for power, so I pay $200 per month. Sometimes my bill is a lot lower, but I still pay $200. I may have a little credit for a few months, but when it goes up in December, right at Christmas time, I still know what to expect. Sometimes by then I don't have a bill at all and it's like a little Christmas bonus!

About the Author: Jo Granville is on the staff of Only Hangers, a leading online resource for high end clothes hangers. For more information, please visit www.onlyhangers.com.