|(Yes, this is me ... kicked back and doing my banking online. Nope, just kidding!)|
Dealing with all the changes and challenges of running a household myself, and having to re-arranging a budget to reflect a single income is stressful to say the least. This coupled with the emotional upheaval of the past two years - stress magnified by 100. That's why I want to share a few simple ideas that helped me in reorganizing our finances.
One of the most helpful things I have done when it comes to finances has to be paying bills online through my bank. This has simplified things so much for me! No more forgotten payments, no more late charges because I forgot to mail the check or couldn't find a stamp at the last minute. Or because a bill went missing on my messy desk.
There are two categories I have set up with which to pay bills: automatic payments and e-bills.
First we'll talk about e-bills.
In the online banking section of my bank's website I have the option to signing up for certain monthly bills to be sent as e-bills; these are usually ones like my phone bill or credit card bills, and instead of getting a paper bill in the mail I get an e-bill notification in my email inbox.
If you are banking online, look and see which bills are offered as e-bills and then sign up for them. Your bill is sent electronically to your online bill pay section. When you have a new bill your bank will send you an email to let you know an e-bill has arrived. You can see and access your bill there, and set up the date and amount of the payment with just a few clicks.
I have set up automatic payments for such things as my monthly tithe to my church. These are payments that are the same each month, like mortgage or car payments, or for credit card payments that are not offered as e-bills. I love using this because I can set up a payment for a certain amount at a specific date each month, and then not worry about missing a payment or sending it late.
One word of caution - you still need to monitor your account! I usually log in and check my account every other day or so, just to make sure that everything is the way it should be. :)