Top Ten Tips for Organizing Your Finances and Paying Bills | Clutter Video Tip
August 31, 2018
Top Ten Tips for Organizing Yo...
I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today I
have 10 tips for you to pay your
[POP] That’s important because disorganization is very costly.
Think of the time you spend not only finding your bills but chasing down the ones that
you haven’t paid on time and paying the late fees and all of that.
So let’s get that together.
First, let’s make sure you have a home for your supplies.
So I like to have a basket or a drawer or something with all of the bill-paying supplies
For example, rubber stamps, letter openers, pens and pencils, stamps, envelopes, all of
those things that you use to pay your bills.
Centralize that, have a little station for yourself to do this, because you do it all
Let’s automate that, let’s make a system.
Second, decide what days you’re going to pay your bills and stick to them.
So you can do whatever you want, you can have the first and the 15th are the days that you
pay them, or you can pay them every other week, every Saturday.
For a long time I paid my bills every single Tuesday.
That really worked for me because I had an office day on Tuesdays.
So whatever it is, make up your own schedule, but stick to it.
And that’s going to give you peace of mind too, because if you know, “I’m paying my bills
on this day,” you’re not going to have to have that floating around in your mind and
worrying about it, because you know that you’re taking care of them on a regular basis.
Third, keep your bills together as they arrive.
So have a designated place for all the bills to go.
When you sort the mail, you’ve got everything that needs to be paid all together.
You can use a basket like this, you can use a letter sorter or a tray [POP], or even just
a clothespin that you have on a magnet on your refrigerator.
But wherever it is, have all those bills together so you know exactly where they are when it’s
time to sit down and pay them.
Next, I want you to think about automating all the bills that you possibly can.
So anything that you can have a direct relationship with the vendor to be paid automatically out
of your checking account, or onto a credit card, maybe you have a card that gets you
airline miles, whatever you want to do, but just get that not to be a manual process for
So you can rest assured that your [POP] cable bill is just going to get paid, your electric
bill is going to get paid, without you having to worry about it or really do anything about
Next, don’t handwrite checks unless you really have to.
You can do a lot of bill- paying through most major banks on their web sites and they will
send the check out for you.
So sit down and type in something instead and hit “send” and you can usually even post-date
when you want them to send that check out so you can pay the bills ahead of time that
But, how much easier is that?
You don’t have to have a stamp or an envelope, you don’t have to write the address down,
usually you’re going to have all of those in a system where you pay them regularly anyway.
So get that all done on-line and avoid handwriting.
Also, it’s a little bit more secure if you don’t leave handwritten outgoing checks in
your mailbox to risk them getting stolen and having an identity theft problem.
The next thing you want to think about is consolidating all of your bills and credit
cards as much as possible.
So instead of having a whole bunch of different department store and gas station credit cards,
why not cancel almost all of those and just get one or two major credit cards and use
those for everything?
And that way you have fewer accounts and fewer bills.
You also might want to get some rubber stamps made.
This, again, is a process that you do over and over again, you want to make a system
So if you’re always writing “for deposit only” with your bank account number, have a stamp
made with that on it.
[POP] Sometimes you might like having a stamp like this one is that says “paid” and then
you can change the date on it.
So that enables you to quickly stamp things [POP] and know that you’ve paid them on a
A lot of people ask me about keeping bills.
Now, for a business, you need to keep every receipt and every invoice, no question.
For your personal life, it’s really not that necessary usually to keep every receipt for
every pack of gum that you’ve purchased or anything.
But you might want to keep some of the bills for your records about your utilities.
If you do want to file your bills, what we find in usually the most efficient is an accordion
file like this.
So this is already pre-marked January through December and you just pay your bills and stick
them in the appropriate month and go on.
And at the end of the year you can bundle this up in a big bow and you’re done and you
start a new one for the next year.
[POP] Much easier than trying to create separate files for separate vendors and parse every
single one of those bills out into every file every month.
Usually that is not a necessary way to do it and you can find whatever you need by looking
it up by month.
I want you to also think about going paperless as much as possible.
And the perfect combination is automated and paperless.
So the bill’s automatically drafted and then you get an e-mail saying, “This is how much
you paid,” and then you can file an attached PDF statement or something electronically
and not have to file the paper.
So going paperless is a great way to reduce the amount of file cabinets that you need
and the amount of processing time that you have and simplify things greatly.
I also want to encourage you, just in general, to organize your wallet and organize your
purse — and we do have a great video about purse organizing — but one of the things
you want to do on bill-paying day is probably pull out all the receipts out of your wallet
and purse and process those and put them into your bank software, like Quicken or something,
so you can make that day of the week that you pay bills be the day that you clean out
your purse or wallet and you’ve got a little habit hook there.
We’ve got videos about that too.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips, and I hope your bill-paying gets much more efficient
and you save a lot of money.
Until then, I hope you will check out our Home Office Handbook.
This is a book I have all about the home office that includes these tips and many more.
You can see a lot about that at http://www.clutterdiet.com/homeoffice.
See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.
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