Has paying your monthly bills turned into a disorganized, chaotic and stressful mess? If so, the tips in this article will help you organize your monthly bills, and take back control of your finances.
When it comes to personal finance, disorganization is one of the worst, and most unnerving feelings you can experience. Whether you just can’t seem to keep track of your monthly bills, or you’re just overwhelmed by the number of payments you have to make, it’s easy to feel like you’re losing control.
But before you throw in the towel and give up on financial organization, you might just need to change your strategy, or implement a few minor tweaks to get back on track. And that’s exactly why we’re here.
For the rest of this guide, I’m going to reveal 5 of the best ways to organize your monthly bills. In addition, I’m going to provide you with some incredibly effective strategies to help you kick financial chaos to the curb, and improve your overall financial outlook.
So, if you’re ready to transform your disorganized process of paying your monthly bills into an organized thing of beauty, keep reading!
1. Use A Printable Checklist
Throughout my time as a personal finance blogger, one of the worst, and most common, financial problems I have observed, is when a person thinks they can operate their entire financial life without ever writing anything down. (Blink once if that’s you.)
Seriously, I have yet to find someone that does this effectively for an extended period of time. And my thought is, why would you even try?
To put it simply, when it comes to setting goals, budgeting, and especially managing your monthly bills, if you don’t make a habit of putting your financial life on paper (or into a computer), you are headed for chaos.
That’s why, one of the simplest, and most effective ways to organize your monthly bills is to start each month by putting all your bills into a printable checklist. That way, throughout the month, you can check off each bill as you pay it.
As an added note, if you decide to use the printable checklist method to organize your monthly bills, be sure to include a column for each of the following: Bill Name, Due Date, Amount, and if you really want to keep things simple, you could include any information needed in order to pay the bill. For example, you could include your online bill pay login information, your account number, and an address (if you have to send the bill through the mail).
2. Organize Your Bills Using A Spreadsheet
If you like the concept of a printable checklist, but you’re more of a computer nerd (like myself), then organizing your monthly bills into a spreadsheet is another great option.
Similar to the printable checklist, you could simplify your spreadsheet to include only the bill name, due date, and amount. But, the nice thing about a spreadsheet is that you can make it as simple or advanced as you like.
But here’s the thing, a spreadsheet is only as good as the person that’s using it. In other words, if you don’t have the discipline to open your laptop and actually use the spreadsheet every time you pay bills, then you’re probably better off with a printable checklist that you keep on your desk, or hanging from your refrigerator.
Remember, organization requires consistency. And, while you can create the coolest, most advanced, monthly bill organization spreadsheet known to man, if you don’t actually use it, then it’s worthless.
3. Use A Budgeting App To Organize Your Monthly Bills
If you don’t like the idea of writing down your monthly bills, or entering them into a spreadsheet, then you might like the idea of using an app to stay organized.
This can be an especially useful way to stay organized if you spend a lot of time on the go, or on your phone. I mean, if all you have to do to keep your bills organized is carve out a few extra seconds to open an app and enter your bills each month, then there’s really no excuse for letting your finances descend into chaos.
If you’re looking for a great app, we recommend EveryDollar. Having tried all sorts of budgeting apps over the last few years, this is our hands-down favorite. Also, it’s free, so you don’t have to worry about adding, yet another, monthly bill to your already full financial plate.
4. Organize Your Bills Into Envelopes Or Folders
If the disorganization you’re experiencing is more about the actual pile of bills sitting on your kitchen counter, and less about the actual payment process, then you might want to consider grouping your bills into separate envelopes.
And there are a few ways you could go about this.
By Week – Throughout the month, as you receive your mail, you could organize your bills, by due date, into separate folders or envelopes, labeled: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Week 5. Then, at the start of each week, you can just pay all the bills inside the folder.
By Bill Type – You can separate your bills into folders/envelopes like, utilities, car payments, mortgage, credit card statements, miscellaneous, etc.
By Month – If you are more of a minimalist, you could always just create 12 folders or envelopes, and label them by month. Then, as your bills come in, you can just plop them into the proper folder.
5. Use A Bill Organization Binder
I don’t know about you, but there’s just something about a binder that calms me down and makes me want to be a better, more organized, person. Why is that? Is it the smell of freshly inked pages? Maybe it’s the quiet sound of the pages turning over the rings. Or maybe it’s just the unequaled level of organization and structure that seems to warm my soul. We may never fully understand…
Whatever the reason, if you really want to step up your organization game, you should consider organizing all your bills, folders (or envelopes), and printable checklists into a monthly bill binder. This is a great way to keep track of everything single thing you pay throughout the month or year.
And, to be honest, it’s pretty hard to be anything short of organized when you’re consistent with a binder.
Other Helpful Tips For Organizing Your Monthly Bills
Ok, by this point, I hope you’ve discovered a good method for organizing your monthly bills. But before we call it quits, there are a few other tips I’d like to share that I have found to be extremely helpful in my own financial organization journey.
While some are easier than others, my wife and I swear by every one of the tips that follow.
From an organizational standpoint (both mental and physical), the fewer bills that come through the mail (and pile up on our kitchen counter), the more organized we feel. That’s why my wife and I sign up for paperless billing whenever we have the chance. And if you are tired of looking at a big, chaotic stack of bills, then I highly recommend signing up for paperless billing as well.
These days, it’s hard to find a company that doesn’t offer paperless billing. So, there’s a good chance that you could kiss that stack of bills goodbye.
This has the added benefit of allowing you to search through your email for any bill you need to find. Which, in my experience, is a lot less stressful than combing through every stack of papers in your house for a bill you seem to have misplaced.
Try To Align Your Bill Due Dates
Most people don’t know this, but in many cases, you can align your bill due dates so that they fall on the same day. All you have to do is call the provider, and ask to change your monthly due date.
Based on my experience, you will have to pay a prorated bill or two in order to adjust your due date, but in the long run, having all your bills align on the same due date can help you stay much more organized.
This is especially useful when it comes to utility bills like gas, electricity, internet and water, because you can just pay them at the same time as your rent or mortgage.
Schedule 2 Days Each Month To Pay Your Bills
If you are currently in the habit of just paying your bills at random times throughout the month, then I recommend scheduling 2 days out of each month to pay your bills.
For example, for my wife and I, some of our bills are due at the beginning of the month, while others, we might not even receive until a couple weeks into the month. So, typically, I will pay bills on the 1st, and the 15th of the month. That way, I can sit down, focus on what I’m doing, and make sure to check-off each bill as I pay it.
Plus, at least for me, the whole process just feels much more organized.
Set Up Automatic Payments For Fixed-Cost Bills
If you have any bills that are a fixed cost every single month, (i.e. internet, mortgage, rent, etc.) then I highly recommend setting up automatic payments. Since the price of the bill isn’t going to change, you don’t have to worry about mis-budgeting, or paying the wrong amount.
This is a great way to reduce your stress, and take a bill off your plate.
Simplify Your Finances By Getting Out Of Debt
I don’t think it’s any secret that debt complicates a financial situation. And the more debt you have, the more difficult it becomes to keep your finances organized.
That’s why we strongly encourage you to pay off all your debt — if you have any.
By getting rid of your debt, you will reduce the number of payments you have to make, increase your monthly financial margin, and simplify your life. And the simpler your finances are to manage, the easier it is to stay organized.
Think of it like this: is it easier to pay 5 monthly bills, or 15 monthly bills?
Debt complicates everything. So, if financial organization and simplicity sounds appealing to you, pay off your car payments, pay off your credit cards, heck, pay off your house! The less debt you have, the easier it will be to stay organized.
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Organizing your monthly bills doesn’t have to be complicated. All you have to do is find an organizational strategy that works for you, and then be consistent and stick with it.
So, what method do you think will work best for you? Be sure to comment below.
Also, if you found this post helpful, and would like to receive other helpful financial tips, tricks and recommendations, be sure to subscribe to Be The Budget today. We’d love to have you join our community of dedicated budgeters, money-savers and side-hustlers. We look forward to getting to know you more!