The following is a post by Greg Anderson
Being able to manage your debt and pay your bills in an effective manner is one of the keys to good credit. To avoid late fees by creditors and overdraft charges by your bank, you will need to develop a strong bill paying strategy. Detailed below are a few tips that when executed will equate to positive bill payment and management.
Paying your bills should come before spending on pleasure.
The want to spend your hard earned money on leisure instead of paying your bills can be overpowering. If you don’t pay your bills, you are going to be hit with huge penalties. On the other hand, you won’t face any sort of negative impact for not expending on pleasure. A good rule of thumb should be to always put enough money aside every month so that you are able to pay all of your bills in full and on time and then use any additional leftover funds on fun.
Pay your bills before they are due.
Your best bet is to mail your bills in at least one week prior to their due date. If you are slow at making your payments you run the chance of being late and bringing late payment fees upon yourself. You should check with each creditor and service provider to see if you are able to enroll your account into an automatic bill payment program. Your bills will be deducted from your checking account the same time every month. You will never even have to worry about getting payment in.
Call the biller in the event that you are unable to make payment.
If you find yourself short on funds one month, get in touch with the creditor or service provider well before the due date. Let them know your situation and request an extension and for all late fees to be waived. Make sure that you remit payment in accordance with the new arrangement made. If you don’t, it is likely that you will not be able to request any sort of extension in the future.
In you are hit with an unexpected financial situation; you may want to consider applying for personal loans to cover your short-term money needs. You may even want to consider emergency loans if you are in dire need of finances.
Check for billing errors.
Always review all of your bills to ensure that they are correct. You are going to want to contact the biller and let them know. Never just make a lower payment. That won’t fly.
Don’t pay all of your bills at once.
If you do not get paid weekly, it is critical that you spread your bill paying out over several weeks so that you do not deprive yourself of having money for daily costs. You should develop a budget for your coming month detailing your living expenses and a plan for paying your coming bills. This will help you pre-determine where/how you are going to be spending your paycheck every week.
Write your account number on all of your checks.
To pretty much guarantee your account gets credit for payment, it is very important that you have your account number on every payment.
Make sure you always balance your check book.
Balancing your check book is critical so that you are always aware as to how much money you have available and what payments are still out waiting to be cashed. Not balancing your checkbook can equate to bounced checks and those very high fees associated with bounced checks. In addition, a bounced check means non-payment to the service provider which can result in services being shut off.
If you are able to utilize the above strategies in recurring bill paying practices, you should be able to regain or maintain a positive financial situation for yourself.