In Previous blog we understood the consequences of late bill payments & how it affects our finances.
Now we will discuss what are the ways to avoid late or missing bill payments & make it a habit for lifetime…
• Proper Planning –
Planning to pay your bank fees and credit card bills a week in advance is a foolproof way of avoiding late fees.
Set a reminder on your Smartphone and get it done as soon as possible.
• Keep A Bill Tracking Spreadsheet or Piece of Paper:
Maintaining a bill tracking spreadsheet, is one of the biggest keys in making sure you never make a late payment.
Whether you use a spreadsheet or just a simple piece of paper, this document will save you from forgetting to pay a bill.
Simply list every single bill you have down the left side of the page.
Next, make a list of when you receive your statements for that bill. For example, I always get my power bill on the 10th of every month.
In the next column, list when the bill is actually due.
If the bill is a recurring amount every month, like loan EMI, list the amount in the next column.
You can add one more column for notes about bills.
This is to remind you of special factors like when annual fee will be charged on a credit card/debit card
or any other information which you don’t want to forget about that bill.
After you have all of this information compiled, you list out the next twelve months in the columns to the right.
Whenever you make a payment, you mark paid in the box where the bill row and month column intersect.
As long as you check your spreadsheet once a week, you’ll notice if a bill doesn’t come in when you’re expecting it to.
It could have gotten lost in the mail or throw away by accident, but chances are you’ll still be responsible for paying the bill on time.
• Pay You Bills When You Receive
Just pay your bills when you get them and there is a much smaller chance of forgetting to pay a bill.
You used to be able to make a small amount of interest by keeping your money in the bank until the bill’s due date.
But then there are chances you may forget the due date.
However, with interest rates as low as they are today, the penny or two of interest you’d earn isn’t worth than paying late payment charges.
• Automate Every Bill You Can
When you automate paying your bills, you’ll have less payments you have to manually make every month.
• Remember to Update Your Credit Card/Auto Pay Information
If you let you credit card information expire, your automatic payments will stop and you’ll end up with at least one late payment if you aren’t paying attention.
• Check for A Confirmation of Payment
Whether you make automatic or manual payments on your bills, it is absolutely imperative that you get a confirmation of your payment.
Why is this so important? Without confirmation, you bill may not actually have been paid!
• Don’t Forget to Check Your Statements
Whether you automate your bill payments or pay them manually, you must ALWAYS check your statements for errors or price increases.
You may notice the price increases & errors in billing statement which you could missed because of automated payments.
• Adjust Payment Due Dates –
Anyone is likely to forget a bank or credit card fee that has to be paid at the middle of the month.
By changing the payment date to the first of the month or your payday, you will remember to pay your bills that day.
• Take Advantage of Alerts –
Some people are more organized than others. It’s easy to get distracted with work, home life, and other day-to-day responsibilities.
You should set up alerts on your phone to remind yourself about bill due dates.
Late payments can severely impact your credit score.
That damage could cost you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on something as simple as a home mortgage.
Don’t fall victim to a late payment. Get your system working for you today!
These tips to avoid late fees will help you do just that. All you have to do is be responsible with your finances, plan ahead,
and utilize services such as automatic payments and payment alerts.
Finding what works for you will ensure that you pay on time and steer clear of those dreaded late fees.
Stay tuned to Aarya Consulting for our next blog on other habits which costs us financially & How we can overcome these habits…