Everybody’s got bills to pay, even if you aren’t paying down debt. Power bills, water, phones, mortgage, internet… We all have to send some of our money to someone else for something each month. This might seem like a pretty straight-forward subject, but I think there are many differences of opinion regarding the best way to do that.
I once read a book on personal finance in which the author suggested that every bill should be paid as soon as it is received. As in: receive bill in mail, sit down, write check, put stamp on envelope and put in mail box. All within a five minute span.
Personally, I pay all bills for the month on the 14th of each month. Most of them aren’t due until the 25th, which gives plenty of time to arrive even if they get lost in the mail. I feel like this helps me make sure I get all of them paid, and paid on time.
And then there is the difference in how people pay their bills.
For instance, I really dislike paying bills with any method other than by writing a check. (I’m a dinosaur, I know.) I don’t like monthly drafts, I don’t like paying over the phone. I like to keep track of it by writing it out by hand. I know, though, that there are a lot of people for whom writing a check is the equivalent of watching your movie on a VHS tape. Still, writing out a check makes me recognize the amount I’m paying better than paying over the phone, and a lot more than a monthly bank draft. I don’t feel that bank draft the way I do writing a check.
Of course, then there’s my sister, who is so bad with her money that paying bills each month means deciding which ones can be late this month and which ones can’t. I’ve tried to help her, but if you’re not open to help it doesn’t really matter.
What are your opinions? How do you do it? What are the advantages to your system?