RICHES: Simple Six Step Calendar Bill Pay Method
Are you just getting into the swing of being a full fledged adult and don’t know how to handle bills and paychecks? Or are you looking for a new way to approach paying your bills? I was in that boat a few years ago and it was a rocky ride. I never knew when things were due and I would scramble to make the payment before it was late. What I found to work best for me is a simple solution using direct deposit, autopay, and a calendar. Never miss a payment again with this simple solution and start building wealth, too! Read on to see how I pay bills with the Calendar Bill Pay Method.
My simple solution for getting on track is outlined in just a few simple steps. If you have about 15 to 30 minutes then you can get back on track or simplify your payment schedule, too.
1. Make a List of All Your Bills
Go through your bills and write down when each item is due and how much it is or what your budgeted amount is if it is not a set price. Variable items might include a water bill or electric bill.
1st – Mortgage/Rent – $850
9th – Cell Phone – $85
10th – Electric – ~$75
15th – Student Loan – $135
13th – Car Insurance – $75
18th – Investment Account – $200
22nd – Savings – $100
28th – Car Payment – $350
2. Enter All Information on a Calendar
Some people like to handwrite information and others like to use electronic solutions. Use the one that’s right for you! Enter in all your bills and all your paydays. Once you have this information written down you can start to work with your money 2 weeks at a time instead of blowing through it or paying bills too early or late.
3. Enroll in Auto Pay
Now that you know when bills are due you can enroll in autopay. There are options through most banks or you can enroll in autopay on individual websites. Autopay is a great way to pay bills because it is hassle free and you may get a discounted rate (like student loan payments) or cut down on interest and loan length by setting up half payments.
4. Balance Your Account on Pay Day
Now that you know what’s coming out on payday you can balance your account and start to get ahead. I sit down for about 15 minutes every other Friday and look at my calendar. I add my ending balance from last payday to my paycheck, then deduct all the due bills (sometimes I can move one or two around depending on what it is and who I owe), and then move money to other accounts to build wealth.
Account Balance – $63.92
5th – Pay Day – +$1250.00
9th – Cell Phone – -$85.00
10th – Electric – -$67.62
15th – Student Loan – -$135.00
13th – Car Insurance – -$75.00
18th – Investment Account – -$200.00
Balance – $751.30
Money to Live On – $200.00
Transfer to Savings – $251.30
Extra Payment to Debt – $300
5. Live on Cash
See that line up there under #4 that says “Money to Live On – $200.00?” That’s the amount you live on for the next two weeks. I don’t budget that money. I know, some finance people just fainted… but here’s the deal: I need gas, groceries, and fun for two weeks. I’m not going to beat myself up over tiny little details. That’s my living money and if it runs out in 7 days then too bad, so sad! However, if there’s extra left on next payday then I’ll have more to put in savings or to pay down debt. Find an amount that works for you as this is just an example.
6. Reassess Your Bills
Once you start doing this easy bill pay method you will start to see what is eating up your money. My number one budget killer is my car but I love cars and driving so I do without other things such as cable (OMG! What?!) and I save money on other services such as my cell phone (thanks, family plan!).
A Final Note
Living paycheck to paycheck is hard. I’ve been there and trust me, I know. But no matter how much you make you have to tell your money what to do. If this step by step plan is too overwhelming, start small. Start with the calendar method and then work your way into signing up for autopay one bill at a time. Then start saving. Then start doing more!
Do you have any advice or stories about how the Calendar Bill Pay Method helped you? Please share in the comments section below!