OT: Need Help Organizing My Bills Any Tips..

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Kimba4318, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. Kimba4318

    Kimba4318 New Member

    Hi friends... I have so much paperwork coming in to this house daily. So many bills unfortunately :-(. I always seem a day behind in paying them and get hit with fees. This is getting overwhelming.

    I sort thru the mail daily and get rid of junk mail, however - the rest of the stuff gets put in a crate and I never seem to get back to them until a collector will call with a "reminder". I am always thinking I JUST PAID THEM & then realize it is time for the next payment.

    Anyway... I feel very disorganized. I cannot keep up... yes there is the brain fog but something has got to give! Alos, I have 3 children and my business is out of home as well. Also need help with organizing: School Paperwork, PTA things, Medical records/blood tests, etc. I am sure I am asking alot, but just wondering if anyone could help me.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Hugs:)
    Kim
    [This Message was Edited on 10/29/2006]
  2. abcanada

    abcanada New Member

    I'm in the same boat, and will be reading to see if anyone has any 'Good' advice for organizing the bills. As is everything, bills are a never ending struggle. Mainly organizing them & paying them. I'm always scared I won't leave enough $$ for us. Whenever I don't it seems like one of our kids get sick or something, and we need the extra cash. For that reason I avoid it all together, and keep wishing the 'Bill Fairy' would come and take care of then for me. I hope we get some advice, or a visit from the 'Bill Fairy'. Take care & hugs, Laura
  3. suz45

    suz45 New Member

    Kim:

    Good idea to get your bills in order, here's one way that has always wotked for me..Get a desk size bill folder, as your bills come in write on the outside of the envelope due date and $$ or minimum payment due...Than arrange them in order. If its something you pay via a schedule like a car payment keep that envelope in the front with the day of the month due and amount. As I pay them I than file them into a desk draw under utilities or credit cards, Etc.. This might help you keep up with them and not get behind. I think the key is to not let them get lost on the kitchen counter, nightstand etc.. Keep them in the same place all the time. Especially whrn your foggy than you don't get so overwhlelmed trying to remember...

    Hope this helps,

    Suz45
  4. Kimba4318

    Kimba4318 New Member

    Laura - Yes, I always wish for that "BIll FERRY" too. LOL!

    Suz45 - That is a good idea, I guess you have them sorted by date? I need a master calendar or something that will prepare me for when they are due. I tried on my regular calendar and I forget to look back at it (ughhhhh).

    Thanks - ANYONE ELSE wiht Tips??

    HUgs:)
    Kim
  5. bigmh

    bigmh New Member

    Hi Kim...what works for me is to:

    1. Sort through the mail daily (which you said you are doing); write the due date on the front of each bill so you are aware of it;

    2. Put all important things, like bills, that require action in a slot on my desk (I have an organizer with several slots);

    3. Look at this important info one day/week (for me, it's on Fridays...I make sure that I go through this pile each Friday, paying bills that are due and dealing with the rest);

    4. File the rest of the mail, etc. in file folders in a file cabinet. Label each file, i.e., Receipts, Taxes, Airline Mileage Programs, and labels for each of your children. This will help with their medical records and necessary school records.

    My kids are in college, but I would have them put the papers that required my attention and/or signature in the middle of my desk. If they weren't put there, I didn't see or sign them. This helped them to take responsibility for putting them there, and I knew where to look for them. Then I'd put them with their backpacks the night before school or in the morning.

    I sure hope this helps. It is hard to have the energy to just open the mail when we don't feel good! Good luck, and blessings, Ann

    PS I also make new file folders each January. I use yellow tabbed files for personal and blue for business and keep them in separate drawers. I do work for our business at home, too!

  6. LOVED

    LOVED New Member

    Kim, I use Quicken for on-line banking. I have used it for years and it keeps me on track.
    You can set-up the payment in advance(like when you get the bill) and then it will pay automatically on the due date. You can also get e-bills that cut down on the paper you have to fool with. Another possibility is to set up automatic payments so you never have to worry about forgetting.
    For the papers I have to keep, I have a big basket sitting on the file cabinet. About every 3 months I file these into an accordian folder(with various slots, like utilities). At the end of the year I have all of the tax related items together and I take what is in the accordian folder and if need be, file it into a permanent folder.
    I also open all mail over the trash can and discard junk mail, etc into it.
    One thing I really try to discipline myself on is to be realistic about what I keep(i.e. special offers). I found I was getting buried in things like that and never really using them.
    Hope this helps. Sorry it is so long.
    LOVED
  7. charlenef

    charlenef New Member

    i put them in that hangs on the wall.i also never let them sit for more than a couple of days.i always have stamps on hand so you can throw them in the post right away. i have never paid a late fee or had anything shut off so i must be doing something right. good luck charlene
  8. Kimba4318

    Kimba4318 New Member

    Wow - Thank you all very much. You are very good with the organization skills. I am envious.

    Thank you all so much for the tips... Very Great Info! I will also look into some of the programs mentioned above too. I use online banking, but not the correct way... I just check to see what has cleared and check balance. I know I can be doing so much more with it.

    The online / less paper deal sounds good too.
    Thanks again!
    Kim
  9. Gothbubbles

    Gothbubbles New Member

    Some banks have FREE online billpay options, you just type in your utility and your customer id number for that utility and then you can pay your bills from your checking account without mailing anything. It's a lot of work when you start it, but it's worth it when you're done because then you can just pay your bills together and no fussing with stamps or walking to the mailbox.

    I pay for everything else with my credit card, which I can look up my statement online with in real time! So I can track my spending, and then I just pay the whole thing off every month before interest accrues (saves me from having to balance a checkbook!).

    It's not perfect, but it helps! I also get as many income checks direct-deposited as possible (And some of my bills, too!). It is so much easier doing everything electronically. I also call my bank's automated number to get my checking account balance anytime I want!

    I hope this helps you.
  10. Kimba4318

    Kimba4318 New Member

    gothbubbles.. Yes it does help, it all does. Wish I could just pay it off all at once, but... well, with all the medical bills and not working as much as I used to, I kinda got us in the hole.

    I would love to do that though, hopefully someday in the near future :) I would like to get down to just 1 credit card for primary use and be able to track it like you said.
    Thanks a bunch!
    Hugs
    Kim
  11. JLH

    JLH New Member

    If you have a business out of the home, you probably know how to do spreadsheets in Excel or similar software.

    I have a spreadsheet made in Excell.
    - The top titles are each month of the year.
    - The titles down the left side are the names of each utility company, insurance company, and every place that I pay a bill to.
    - Under each monthly title, I have 2 columns.
    - The first column of each month is where I enter the amount of the bill that needs to be paid.
    - The second column of each month is where I enter "paid" after I pay that bill.
    - At the end of the column, I have a total of the amount of the bills.
    - A few lines down from that, I enter my monthly income.
    - I then have a line with a formula that subtracts the amount of the monthly bills from my monthly income which shows me the amount of "leftover" money for each month.

    Included in the list of payees, I have a line for my bank, where I withdraw cash for my montly spending money, and I also have a line for the bank's savings account where I can input how much that I am able to deposit that month for savings.

    It might sound confusing, but it's really simple.

    I make spreadsheets for quite a few of my recordkeeping systems.

    I also have one for my doctors and dental appointments. I have columns for the date, what provider, what reason, their amount charged, what Medicare approves, what Medicare pays, what my secondary ins. pays, what my copay is, and what my balance due is, the date which I paid it, and the last column is for "Comments" for any calls relating to problems on that bill, etc.

    I also have a Christmas spreadsheet! I include every person who I have to buy for, make an entry of each thing that I buy for them, the amt. spent, date of purchase, and place of purchase. I have a total cell for each person with a formula in it that always tells me the total amt. spent on that person--so I don't go over my budget for them, and to always let me know who I need to shop for.

    All this is easy for me because I have done stuff like this on my job for 30 years. I am detail oriented and very organized when it comes to this stuff -- it's just always been me, as a result of my on-the-job training!! LOL

    Janet
  12. razorqueen

    razorqueen Member

    I was one who was really bad for not paying the bills on time. I still sometimes don't pay exactly on time, but they are getting payed.

    I started to pay them on line. This has really helped me keep it under control. I can also see my bank statements online so I know exactly where everything is going, as long as I use my debit card for purchases.

    I rarely use checks. I hate it when people don't deposit them right away and hang on to them for ever, then BANG, you've forgotten about it and then they decide to cash it!

    I was a big procrastinator (still am) and I'd be worried about the bills, but I'd just keep putting them off until it got out of control and my hubby would get upset.

    doesn't happen anymore! :)

    Raz
  13. sues1

    sues1 New Member

    I try and keep my stress down. Not being sure if I paid a bill is big stress, going through check book and all. So I bought a thick tablet that opens like a book, (coils at side). That is my bill ledger.

    As bills comes in I write date due on the fron of envelope and put bills in a wicker napkin holder, that is meant to keep paper napkins upright. I also have a few plain envelopes, address stickers and stamps with the bills.
    Offers and such I keep in a small wicker basket, but I try to throw most out right away. Do not mix up the 2 together.

    You can write out checks ahead of time, and put date due where the stamp goes, then you cover your date with a stamp when you mail it.

    Right now I am on NOV. 2006 ----I list first the mortgage, then utilities, cell phone, credit cards and so forth..each has there own line. Also have a couple of drafts that are taken out each month from my checking.

    My trash and water bill only comes every three months, but I list it also....and just put a line out from them on months I do not have to pay them.

    I write in any club dues, magazine subscriptions, charity, etc.

    After each item, as I pay them, I write in amt. pd., date pd...check number. and put a check mark in front of the items as I pay them.

    I can go back anytime to know if I paid anything or a subscription will be due, etc.

    On the back page (same sheet) I have NOV. 2006 Medical
    but it also is for anything tax deductible. I paid quite a few in OCT. 2006 about $500.00 worth and put PIF with a circle, that means to me paid in full. Only one I paid only $100.00 on it and I wrote the amount still owed with a circle. This helps me feel less confused and more secure that I am handling all right and not neglecting anything owed.

    By having this monthly list I know when I do not have a bill. A couple of times I did not have the cablevision bill and it had been misplaced. I probably would of forgotten it, if it was not for my "Ledger".

    If I still had children at home I would probably put a few dollars in the savings each time. So if something came up and you really had to have that moey, you could get it. Oterwise forget it is there. Best in bank, if you can, (I know all can not) and if you had it in your wallet or at home, it is easier to spend on minor things.

    Maybe something in what works for me can help another. We are not all the same or able to do the same.

    Blessings..........Susan
  14. bozey

    bozey New Member

    What I do is put all bills in a clear plastic shoe box on the kitchen table, with the lid.

    I have a tablet that I write all my bills in. I list each months bills in four different squares with fridays date in each square.

    For example, Oct 6
    elect-100.
    visa 80.
    ins. 60.
    TOTAL 240

    Then every friday I know what needs paid. When the bill is paid, I put a line through it. If I don't have enough to pay all, I put a squiggly line through the ones I don't pay and add it to the next week.

    I also put a check mark on the envelope to show the bill has been paid and put it in the paid stack in the den.

    I don't know if this will help you but it is what works for me. My tablet lets me know what bill to look for the the plastic shoe box.

    bozey
    [This Message was Edited on 10/30/2006]
  15. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Hi,
    I understand the problem. Here are some little things I've done that have helped me:

    I have one place where I put all my bills until I pay them.A basket on the book case)

    I pay them all at once.

    I arrange with all creditors to have my billing day so that I can pay my bills during the first 10 days of every month. That gives me 10 days to pay my bills. Any company that won't do this for me (Like visa) - I drop.

    I remind myself by writing in my Day Planner/Calndar.

    I use a record book and write down , on a monthly basis, exactly what I have paid in bills, as well aas my monthly income. I also record extra thngs, like gardener, large pourchases,insurance payyments, etc. I can get about 6 years into one little book, and that makes it easy to compare one year with another. It also makes it easy to check and see if I have missed any payments.

    Right now, I'm trying to get usd to Quicken, on the computer. I plan to use it just for recording things. I'm finding it hard, though. I love my little record book.

    I hope this helps some,
    Hugs,
    Terry


  16. Kimba4318

    Kimba4318 New Member

    Wow - you all are great! I am going to print all of this out!! With all of your advice I feel like I CAN get a handle on it.

    I like the idea of having the bill ppl. giving me a certain day of the month, maybe I can arrange that and spread it out so it does not fall as close to the mortgage.

    Great Ideas... If I did not have this neck problem right now (whole other issue), I would clean my office out and start today! YOu have inspired me.

    Super great ideas & info... I hope to report soon that I have done it!

    THANK YOU - THANK YOU - THANK YOU! All of YOU!

    Big (organized) Hugs:)
    Kim