Post # 1
Right now, we are doing an average job of keeping track of our bills/finances, but I think we could do a better job. My main question is, how do you keep track of your bills, when they are due and when you paid them. Do you print every confirmation when you pay online or…? Do you have a binder that you use for organization or do you do everything just on the internet?
Also, while we are saving money each month, I think we could save more. Any tips for getting more organized with a budget?
Post # 3
@sheepandbear: hi! i have an excel that shows what all needs to be paid on the first and what all needs to be paid on the 15th. once i’ve paid that particular bill, i bold or highlight it so i know it has been paid. each month is in a different tab so i can keep track or savings, too!
we use the envelope system- take out x amount of cash each pay period and dedicate it to groceries, eating out/entertainment, miscellaneous or gas. the rest of the money that doesn’t go towards bills goes towards savings!
good luck! the main thing is just getting in the habit!
Post # 4
@sheepandbear: I note payment dates on the calendar, that way I don’t forget.
I do a budget monthly listing what needs to be paid, how much and who’s paying it, whatever is left over is our money and then debt repayment. We have $1200 a month for food, gas, fun etc – our variable expenses.
I have set up as much as I can to come out automatically. Our phone/cable/cell/internet bill is billed automatically to my credit card and then I pay the amount on my credit card (I did this for the points and becuase the billing date for that bill is really inconvenient for us, this way it’s never late).
Post # 5
For keeping track of bills (this is probably not the best way to do it, but it works so well for me): I just have a draft email saved for myself in Gmail that tells me what to pay on the 1st and what to pay on the 15th. This way I can access it from my phone too.
EDIT: Also, I have student loans out the wazoo and have them through 5 different companies with 7 different payments each month. Somehow this works to keep them all straight, so I’ll take it.
For our budget: we have a Google doc saved on Google drive and shared between us, broken down by categories (dining, groceries, transportation, etc) and when we spend anything in those categories we open it up on a phone right then and there and put it in. It’s set up to automatically subtract and total at the bottom. Our financial planner created it for us.
The way we cut back on expenses was simply deciding how much we want to put into savings each month, subtracting that amount out of those categories on the budget spreadsheet, and pretending like it doesn’t exist. We have a new rule of only eating out once per pay period….which has been hard, but is saving us some cash!
We are also canceling cable and our home phone service this week and putting that money in the wedding savings account…keeping internet though.
And I have a second job. That money goes towards wedding savings too.
Post # 6
Online bill pay. Our finances are fairly simple though, we don’t have student loans or a car payment and I take care of all the bookkeeping. If I need to track a specific expense (i.e. the wedding) I use an excel spreadsheet
Post # 7
We use Quicken! It has ALL our financial info in there–utility bills, rent payments, credit cards, ALL our bank accounts, my student loans, his stocks and bonds… Everything!
Post # 8
I used to write all bills on a notepad and write the amount next to it once paid, but now I’ve moved on to using Mint.com – it’s free and I love it! It helps so much to see exactly where all the money is going, and to see how much extra shoud be left at the end of the month for savings!
Post # 9
I believe in putting your bills on autopilot. I send every bill possible to my credit card. Those that can’t, I have them debit directly from my bank acount. This way, the only bill I have to manually pay is my credit card bill. I’ve set my account to email me 1x when the statement is ready and 1x 5 days before the bill is due. I usually pay it both times, and that way if I accedentially miss one time I will have eliminated any late fees and interest charges.
This method works well if you don’t have issues with cashflow.
In terms of organizing the physical bills, I have signed up for online billing wherever possible. That way I can view them online when needed, but dont’ have to mess with paper bills. For the one or two accounts that don’t allow this, I have a folder in my filing cabinet called “bills.”
Post # 10
Everything is automatically paid each month, whether it be from our credit card or bank account so nothing is ever paid late. I use the app called Accounts as a check register that you can set up recurring auto payments as well. And within the app I can check them off as they clear. All bills are electronic as well so no paper to deal with. I also have a spread sheet with all the bills on it and I highlight when they have been paid.
Post # 11
@sheepandbear: I have a chart on my computer that lists all my expenses, when they are due, and which pay cheque they come from (first or second of the month). Then I have a set amount that is left over, divided by 4 (for 4 weeks of the month), and I withdraw that much from the bank machine each Friday, so I only use cash.