How to Always Pay Your Bills on Time

Leam how to organize your monthly finances and build good credit—no matter what your income is!

Paying your bills on time is a critical feature of a healthy financial situation. Paying bills late doesn't just result in penalties and interest; it also damages your credit. Bad credit makes it difficult to obtain a mortgage, finance a car, or even rent an apartment. Without good credit, you are dead in the water. People struggle to pay bills on time for many reasons. If you have insufficient income for your living expenses, you might miss bills while waiting on a paycheck. You may feel stressed about money and therefore procrastinate on bills. You may simply have poor organizational skills and struggle with multiple bills coming due on different days throughout the month.

For whatever reason, you are drudging it's important to the financial situation and probably feel a lot less anxiety about money. The best time to get a handle on your financial situation is today. Once you take action, your situation can only improve.

Set Up a "Buffer Fund" in Your Checking Account

Avoid missing a bill payment because the bill was due before your paycheck came in. How can you do this? It's really very simple. Can you guess? Simply have the extra money in your account. This may seem impossible if you are struggling to live paycheck to paycheck and have no savings. However, there is no other way around it. You need to build "buffer money" in your checking account. This may mean a few hundred dollars. It may be more, depending on your typical bills and standard of living.

Scrimping and saving for a few months should be enough to get at least a little extra money in your account. Cut back on any luxuries. Eat cheaper. If you can, take on extra hours at work. Start a side gig. You don't have to live totally spartan life forever, but you do need to do it long
enough to shore up some buffer money. Once you have the extra money in your account, you can simply pay the bill as soon as it comes in. Don't wait until it's due -- you won't have to because you have made sure the money is already there. Simply pay the bill right away, and move forward in life with a clear head. It's important to note that the extra money should stay in
a checking account where it is easy to access recurring bills. While you should set your sights on building a savings account as well, your first priority is to keep your checking account full of a bit more money than you actually need. That way, you can handle almost any bill without worry or hassle.

Autopay is Your Friend

Many people make enough money to support themselves and actually live within their means. Insufficient income isn't really the issue organization is. When you have multiple bills coming in each money from different companies, each requiring a different payment method, each due on a different date, simply keeping track of them all can be difficult. You may actually have the money to pay the bill, but miss the due date because you lost track of it!

Setting up automatic payments with your checking account will simplify this. Place any recurring bill you can on autopay. You may not be able to do this with every bill, but you can at least reduce the number of bills to keep track of. It's important to note that you should only put a bill on automatic payments if you actually have the money in your account to pay the bill. Otherwise, you risk overdraft fines with the bank.

Charge Bills to Your Credit Card

As an alternative to automatic checking account payments, card. This has a few advantages


  1. You can consolidate many bills into one bill. A credit card bill only needs to be paid once each month. Let's say you now automatically charge seven of your recurring bills to your credit card. Instead of having seven separate bills to keep track of, you only have one!
  2. Automate your payments. Keeping track of multiple payments can be tedious and you can still miss a payment. Autopay takes the burden off your shoulders.
  3. Meet your credit card’s signup bonus requirements. The minimum spend requirement. When most of the top-end credit cards offer a sign-up bonus, they also require you to spend a certain amount of money in a short period of time to get that bonus. For instance, the Chase Sapphire Reserve requires you to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months to get the sign-up bonus.

To get more financial tips you may also read our posted articles "Five Tips on How to Be Financially Responsible for Yourself" and "10 Top Tips to Maximise Your Savings".

Personal Finance

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