Today we are going to get ourselves, as busy moms, just a touch more in control by giving ourselves a clear picture of the bills. I kind of want to say…blech! And yet, being real organized with paying bills is actually important and is just one more step toward a mom who knows what is going on in her house and is in control of things. It is one step closer to feeling less frazzled and all over the place and more on top of things in your home. I'm telling you, getting these little and seemingly boring things take care of will free up your mind for other things….like fun crafts or DIY projects or time with the kids. 🙂
Becuase you started the process of building a budgett last week, this task is going to be fairly easy for you. Yay! Just like building your budget, this task will probably take you longer than our 30 minutes, but only because you will need to keep track of things over the year. More on that later. Just know that you've done most of the hard work with the work on your budget and this is just putting the organization frosting on top of the cake to give you a full clear picture of your money.
This post is part of my #RealOrganized series. If you want the whole series, just click the graphic above or you can click here to sign up to have each week of this series and all the freebies directly emailed to you. The goal of this series is for you to be able to organize some of the things that as moms, we have to deal with on a yearly, monthly, weekly, or daily basis. By getting these things organized we can free up time in our week as well as space in our homes and minds. The main goal is to feel more organized and less clouded as moms so we can find time and space to spend with our family as well as do things we love and find fulfilling.The first thing that you need to do to be organized paying bills is to know to who you pay money to each month. That part should be fairly straightforward because of starting on your budget.
I've got two printables for you at the bottom of that post. I highly recommend that you snag them, print them, fill them out and put them in a family folder. If you prefer, you could use this budget workbook (affiliate link) that is spiral bound instead of a family folder/binder.
While you may not need the information much in our very digital society. I have found times that it is so handy to have this info. in print form.
This first sheet is just a place to keep the names, phone numbers, account numbers, websites and if you choose, usernames and passwords to access all of your accounts. Again, often, we don't need this info. in printed form, but when the power goes out and I need to contact the electric company to make sure they know or find out when it will be restored, I have to have the paper format. There are just times it is good to have.
This is the only tricky part of being organized with paying bills. You need to know who you pay and when you pay them.
I know that doesn't sound tricky, but you need to keep track of all the people you pay. I'm sure you have plenty of bills that are due monthly. Those are the easiest to track. There are those bills that are due bi-monthly, quarterly, and annually. Those are the ones that you really need to remember. You need to get those added to this printable as well as to your budget so they don't surprise you when they come due.
By planning ahead with your budget and this tracking tool, you have taken charge of your money and those bills that we often forget about will no longer surprise you and cause you to get off track financially. It will also allow you to feel more organized and less frazzled as a busy mom. Love that!
For me, there is a sense of security in knowing what we owe and when. I also love seeing each month in my Goodbudget app that I am on track with saving up for those annual expenses. Maybe I'm alone on that one, but it allows me to feel a lot less stressed with our money.
If you are just getting started with being organized paying bills, I highly recommend you keep track of everything on paper for a few months so that you really know where your money is going and when. To me, there is just something different about writing it out versus keeping it digitally.
Once you really have a handle on your bills, I highly recommend automating things. It totally is a lifesaver and makes sure that things are paid on time no matter what.
My bank, USAA, offers free bill pay online. I have all of the bills that I can receive electronically go there. I am able to set them up to auto pay. The great thing about USAA's bill pay is that I can set parameters. I can set it to pay the bill the day it is due or on some other specific date. I can also set that it is only paid if it is up to a certain dollar amount. For example, my Verizon bill is set to pay it if the bill is under $150. If for some reason the bill is over that amount, it won't auto pay the bill and I am sent a notice by USAA Bill Pay. Then I can figure out what the deal is and get the bill paid. It safeguards me from my account being overdrawn.
To tie together automation for budgeting and bill paying, for those bills that I auto pay, I have a recurring transaction set up in Goodbudget to add that payment to whatever envelope it is paid from on the date that the bill is auto-paid. That way, I'm not assuming I have more money than I do. It keeps it all automated and keeps me on track with paying the bills as well as sticking to our budget and makes it super easy and super simple to keep track of our money.
That concept…the one of simplifying while at the same time creating organization with money is the one we are going for. It brings peace and a mom who has found a way to keep up and at the same time feel organized and in control. By setting up your budget and paying bills in an organized and (for newbies- eventually) automated way totally frees up time and it frees up space in your mind. I prefer to use that time and brain space for fun things…like crafts, DIY projects, and my kids. 🙂 How about you?
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Can't get enough of organizing? I know you've been sucked in by this point in the series….it is pretty great to feel organized, isn't it? I've got a whole Pinterest board you are going to LOVE!