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Finances & Money Spending

How Do You Pay Your Bills?

paying bills, bill paying techniques, utility bills

How do you pay your bills?

I pay mine with money.

Haha, in all seriousness, though, let me tell you a a little story…

I entered the amount of the last bill into the spreadsheet used to track our checking account, and dropped the statement into the shredder. It was the 15th of the month, and it was also pay day for this IT worker. I looked at the amount left over and was a little concerned that I didn’t get paid again until the 30th. But then I remembered that the pay periods for my wife’s part time job are staggered with mine. Her paycheck would be deposited the following Friday, and those funds were all ours as I just paid all the bills that would come due until my next paycheck.

It wasn’t always this way.

I used to pay bills on their exact due date. This would maximize the funds we would have available right after my payday allowing us to really live it up that weekend. Reality would set in a few days later when I realized we had spent so much that there wasn’t much left from my wife’s paycheck after paying the next round of bills. Needing more funds, it was prime time for credit card usage.

This cycle of binge spending and credit card usage was leading our finances down the wrong path, and it needed to stop.

All we needed was a small, simple change in behavior. Monthly bills are now separated into two piles. Those that are due the first half of the month, and those that are due the second half of the month. When it’s pay day for me (which represents the largest portion of our income), we pay all the bills due during that pay period. By paying them I don’t mean schedule them for the day they’re due and I don’t mean just deduct the amount from our account tracker. I mean physically pay all the bills so the money is no longer in our account. This forces us to live our day to day lives within the confines of what we have left.

No tricks, no juggling of funds.

You may have heard the phrase, “Pay yourself first,” which encourages people to take money out of their budget and put it into savings before doing anything else. But we had to back the process up a step and just pay the bills first.

How do you pay your bills?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

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Brock

6 Comments

  • I pay them all automatically on the day they’re due. I only pay one credit card by hand–one that we use the most that I really need to look through every charge. (The ones we rarely use, I can glance at the amount due and know whether it’s accurate.) 🙂 Since I stick to my budget and we have a healthy float in our account, it’s not a problem.

  • I am finally off of that CC cycle…they definitely allowed me to overspend even though I paid the full balance each month. Now I’m able to save more because I’m much more aware of what I have. Thank you for your blog, it keeps me motivated!

  • We’ve actually been without CC’s for about 15 years (talk about flying without a net). I get paid once a month (that took some getting used to) and my wife bi-weekly, so my pay goes to big and/or fixed bills like mortgage, utilities, car payments, etc, while my wife’s pay goes to day-to-day operations (food, gas, clothes, dance, etc). By and large, this does work pretty well.

  • @Jenny – good for you for always sticking to your budget….I hope that over time we can be more disciplined as well. In the meantime at least we found something that keeps us from letting our finances go in the ditch.

  • @Kim – isn’t awesome to be able to put money into a savings account and watch it grow? We’re discovering that phenomenon as well. 🙂 Thanks for your kind words, please keep dropping by and sharing your thoughts!

  • @Andy – good for you for being without credit cards for such a long period of time – I’m jealous, man! Sounds like you have a method that works for you…keep after it and thanks for sharing how you pay your bills!

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