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Be Wealthy & Smart

Feb 23, 2018

Learn how to keep track of your bills so you never have to pay a late fee.

I recently saw a statistic that was startling to me:

23% of people pay bills late and have to pay late fees because they are unable to find their bills.


23% is a lot of people. That’s millions of people!

They can’t find their bills? Are they losing them in their inbox or in the mail?

It’s easy to lose electronic bills, I can understand that, but it’s a bit harder to lose a hard copy.

Think of the late fees that are happening! This is costing people hundreds of dollars per year and they could be investing that money and growing wealth.

There is also a ding that happens to your credit score when you are late.

I had a friend who had an awful time one time when she moved out of state. Her address didn’t get changed on some of her bills and as a result they were forwarded to her too late.

Some didn’t reach her for a month.

Even though she paid them as soon as she received them, because they were a month late she had a mark on her credit score that took 7 years to go away.

It’s not good to be losing your bills, so let’s talk about how to fix this.

First of all, there is no penalty for having your bills mailed to you instead of emailed. If you are a chronic late bill payer because you are losing your bills online, you can do one of two things.

You can set up your bills for automatic payment through your bank so you don’t miss a due date. Some people like this because their bills are paid automatically.

Others put their electronic bills in a folder and have a spreadsheet of the day of the month their bills come due, so each month they know when they have to be paid by.

I’m not good with spreadsheets, so I prefer the low-tech way! I
also like to review my bills before I pay them, so you might think I’m old-fashioned, but I attribute my system to my great credit score!

Most of my bills are still received by mail. When I receive them, I open them up, I look inside at the due date and write on the outside of the envelope of the bill the date it is due. I put it in a designated drawer.

As more bills come in, I repeat the process and file the new bills in by the most current date on top and oldest date in the back of the stack.

So if I have 3 bills sorted by date, it would be the soonest to pay on top, with the next soonest date due, and then the farthest date away.

I usually pay my bills online through my bank and pay them two or three days before the due date.

My mortgage is set up (with extra principal added) as an auto pay.

So let’s review what might help you find your bills and pay them on time so you can avoid late fees:

1. Open your bills immediately and record the due date on the envelope.

2. Put your bills in a designated area, whether it’s a letter holder or a drawer.

3. Keep arranging your bills by date due, with the soonest on top or in front.

4. Pay your bills 2 or 3 days before the due date.

5. Set some or all bills to autopay if you are comfortable with that. If you’re a chronic late bill payer, that’s probably your best option.

6. If you are good with spreadsheets, you can keep a spreadsheet of the dates your bills are due and refer to it at least once a week.

Staying on top of your bills will not only keep your credit score high but also save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in late fees.