Monday, February 15, 2010

Pay Your Bills Week: Part 1

This week happens to be "Pay Your Bills" Week. Not that we don't pay our bills at other times or something, but I guess it is a week to just rethink this process we repeat each month.

So, let's see... Bills.

This first thing that comes to mind is stress related to paying things like rent, mortgages, credit card bills, and utilities that we'd rather not even think about.

The second thing that comes to mind is the actual process, which really shouldn't take that long if we have things in order.

Since this is a week devoted to bills, today I think I'll talk about the first thought of how to make bill paying less stressful.


1) Sign up for automatic bill pay online for all of the bills you can and avoid having to write out checks altogether. Many times you can arrange to pay more of your bills on the same day, or space them out if you need to watch when you will have the funds to pay certain ones on time.

2) Make sure you have enough money in your checking account before you write checks out. Online bank access makes transferring money a cinch.

3) Turn on some of your favorite music before you start paying your bills.

4) Use a fun pen that works great and makes you smile. There is nothing like a bad pen that doesn't work right to make paying bills even less enjoyable.

5) Use sticker return labels to make labeling the envelopes faster. I save the free ones companies send in the mail and use those.

6) Write out and pay bills assembly-line style if you have a stack to do at once. This makes it go faster. Start with opening all of the bills, getting rid of the junk and stapling what you need to file together. Next, write checks out, record and write "paid" on the invoice. Lastly, stuff the envelopes, seal and place your stamp and return label on. Done. Go have a treat or dance a little to the music playing.

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