Paying bills on time can help you stay organized with your money. But getting into the habit can be difficult and usually means prioritizing some payments over others. If you often leave paying your bills to the last minute, you could be charged a late fee.
Here’s how you can get ahead of bill payments – and stay ahead – so you can take control of your money situation.
When should I pay a bill?
You should always try and make sure to pay your bills before the due date. You could use calendar reminders or pay bills on the same day each month (such as payday) to keep yourself on a regular schedule.
It’s important to pay your bills on time, so that you save money by not paying late fees. If you miss a due date for a bill, the company might charge you a fee for late processing of a payment. These charges vary but could cost up to $35 each time you pay late.
If you’re sending a check in the mail, make sure you give yourself enough time for the biller to receive your payment. It may take a couple of days to reach the biller and get processed.
Paying bills late more than once might cause your service to be disconnected or interrupted.
If you are struggling to make a payment, call your biller. They may be able to provide a different option until your situation improves. Paying bills as soon as you can means one less item on your to-do list and one less thing to worry about.
6 tips to pay your bills on time
Staying on top of the monthly bills can be tough. Here are a few things you can try:
- Make a list
- Find out when bill payments are due
- Set reminders
- Working with your biller to change due dates
- Set time aside
- Pay bills when you cash your paycheck
Make a list
Keep bill stubs in one place in order of due date. This will help keep you on track with your monthly expenses.
Find out when bill payments are due
Each bill should have a due date on it. Add these to your list, and you’ll know when each biller expects to be paid. Think of it like a monthly calendar. Then, you’ll be able to plan the best days to pay the bills – or even if you can pay them all at once. By seeing all your bills in one place, you can plan to make payments as and when needed.
It helps to remind yourself of when a bill is due, so you can take the time to pay in advance. Add reminders of each bill into your cell phone’s calendar or ask billers if they can send automated alerts via email or text. Depending on your cell phone plan, you may get charged for these reminders.
Change due dates
If due dates fall on many different days through the month, you might be able to change them to the same day – or within days of each other – to make things simpler. Talk to your utility company about changing the due date for bills so you can pay them all at once if this would make it easier.
Not only does this make it easier to get organized with paying the bills, but by choosing your preferred due date, you’ll know when you’ve got the money to pay it.
Set time aside
If you want to avoid risking late bill payments but can’t drop everything to pay a bill whenever it arrives in your mailbox, get into the habit setting time aside to tackle your bills. Paying bills on time can be much easier if you have a regular time each week or month dedicated to it.
Pay bills when you cash your paycheck
You might find you can pay some bills in the same place where you cash your paycheck, such as your local Money Services. Get into the habit of doing it during the same trip, and you can save time.
Paying the bills on time each month helps you stay organized and reduces the feeling of financial stress. Avoiding late fees can save you a lot of money in the long run, too.
Paying bills late can affect your credit score, which will make it harder to be accepted for loans like a home mortgage or automobile in the future. But staying on time and on track with all your bills can have a positive effect. It might mean paying less in interest on loans in the future or getting more choices when it comes to rates.
Find your local Money Services and pay your bills with ease