Oh, the bittersweet fleeting joy of getting your paycheck, only to have to give all of it up to bills the same day.
Paying bills isn’t fun. In fact, it’s quite annoying. But for some, bills can get out of control and wreak havoc on their lives. From credit cards to utilities to car payments and loans, you have to keep up with all of your bills. Or else, before you know it, interest starts piling up.
Bills cause the average American to save less than 5% of their paycheck for the future. This means that most people are spending just as much as their income, which makes going into the red a very real possibility.
We’ve put together 5 easy ways to simplify managing your bills to remove this monthly hassle from your life.
1. Build a Budget Overview
The word “budget” tends to intimidate people. But all it really means is tracking your income and expenses and setting expectations for spending.
Line up your monthly income against your monthly expenses. Attach due dates for bills to create see an overview of your bills at a glance. That way, you can prepare for all your fixed expenses and plan for those that change like groceries, utilities, and credit card bills.
Building a budget overview should be your first step in managing bills because it gives you insight into what you’re spending your money on, what you should be spending your money on, and how much income you need to stay on top of all your bills.
2. Create a Central ‘Bill Place’
You can’t pay your bills if you don’t know they’re there. It’s so easy to lose track of bills with the influx of junk mail, both digital and physical. Luckily, that can be avoided with a little organization.
Creating a physical or virtual bill collection space—a mail sorter or email inbox—could help keep your bills organized and top of mind. To make things even more simple, Viv offers a suite of lifestyle products and services that help simplify bill pay, since everything is accessible in one place through a single login.
3. Prioritize Your Most Important Bills
If your budget is tight, you may not get to pay as much on each bill as you would like. And if you have more flexibility, you might want to pay above the minimum on whatever you can to knock down debt faster.
Prioritizing which bills you pay and how much you pay is key, but most of us do it wrong. You should always take care of your basic necessities first, which means paying mortgage and utilities. Credit card debt and personal loans come later.
When it comes to paying more than the minimum, you have options. You can save money sooner by paying off whatever has the lowest balance first. For long-term savings, you can prioritize whatever has the highest interest rate.
Another way to save money is to bundle your bills. Companies like Viv let you combine many services you need and use every day into one simple bill. You can pay less and get better service, with one single login.
4. Schedule Auto Payments Wherever Possible
Autopay is one of the best ways to manage your bills. The set-it-and-forget-it approach is available for most bills or through most bank accounts.
If that isn’t an option for the bills you pay, set a reminder for each bill in your phone or calendar so you always know when the payment is due. Don’t say “I’ll do it later” either—once you see the reminder, pay the bill!
A note of caution: When you use autopay, you might lose track of when the money is being taken out of your account, which can lead to overspending. Set up email notifications so you know when each bill gets paid.
5. Put it on AutoPilot
Although these tips can help, wouldn’t it be nice to go one step further? What if there was a better way to manage your bills so you don’t have to worry about them? Oh, and save money on them too. Sounds too good to be true, right?
If you live in a deregulated energy market, this is possible.
AutoPilot simplifies this process, helping you manage your energy choice. All you have to do is send us your bill and we will constantly monitor your local market to find the best rate, enroll you in the right plan, and continue monitoring through every renewal term: renewing or switching your plan to ensure you are automatically saving year after year. Best of all, we offset 50% of our customers’ usage with renewable energy, so you can be part of protecting our precious resources.
The average family can save more than $100 per year with AutoPilot as compared to their utility, which adds up to a lot over the course of a lifetime. What will you do with all that extra money?
The process is simple. If you want to take charge and simplify your bills, AutoPilot is a perfect start. Speak to a Life Consultant today to start the process, or contact us for more information about AutoPilot and its impact on your monthly money savings efforts.