Thursday, April 5, 2007

Organizing the Bills

stack of bills

In response to a reader request, here are some approaches for organizing the bills - and related products that aren't too expensive.

1. You can organize all your action items - the to-dos (Pay Bills, Enter Data Into Computer, Write, Call, etc.) into file folders that sit close at hand in a step file (also called an incline file) or a desktop file. Then you just need a routine for actually paying the bills - daily, weekly, twice a month, or whatever works for you.

2. You can use a tickler system - where there are folders or pockets for each day of the month, and (usually) each month beyond the current one. As bills come in, they go into the folder/pocket for the day you want to pay them. But you MUST remember to look at the tickler file every day, or you'll miss some bills! Products include the accordion tickler file and the EZPocket. Or you can just set up your own, with 43 folders and something to hold them.

3. You can have a separate place where you put all the bills as soon as they come into the house or office. This could be a wall pocket - or almost any kind of container, maybe something you already have. (Real Simple suggests a napkin holder.) Maybe that's all you need, beyond whatever you're already doing.

4. You can arrange to have your bills paid automatically from your bank account.

[Picture from People's Bank]

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