Paying bills on time is one of the biggest financial rules out there, but it’s not always an easy one to follow. Some cash-strapped people can’t drum up the money in time. Others, like you, simply forget.

You’re busy, struggling with ADHD, a born procrastinator, handling a family emergency, or a bill slips your mind for no reason at all. The “why” doesn’t matter when the results are always the same: late fines and added interest.

If you’re tired of losing money over forgotten bills, here are some tips to help you change your forgetful ways.

1. Make a Budget and Write a List of Your Obligations

Most people nowadays have a lot of financial obligations, each of them with a different due date. Budgeting can help you get a better handle of your schedule because it forces you to list all your expenses.

Some of the most common regular bills in the average budget include:

  • Credit cards and lines of credit
  • Housing costs (rent, mortgage payments, condo fees)
  • Insurances (auto, life, health)
  • Short term personal loans (cash advances, direct deposit loans)
  • Utilities (electricity, water, Internet, cell phone, cable)

Once you have a complete list, enter each due date in your calendar, so you know when to transfer money.

2. Automate Payments with E-Banking

E-banking is a convenient way to manage your finances, and you never once have to travel to your neighborhood bank branch to get things done. Instead, you can pay bills from the comfort of your own home — or anywhere you get Internet.

One of the added benefits of e-banking is the ability to automate many of your financial tasks, including paying bills.

Nowadays, most lenders, utility providers, insurance companies offer to set this up when you first make an account with them.

When it comes to borrowing a direct deposit loan, you’ll send your financial institution your banking information so that they can send your funds directly to your account of choice. With this information, they can also take out your pre-arranged payments, making it easy to keep on top of your direct deposit loans.

Don’t worry if you missed this chance when opening an account. You can do it retroactively by making your creditors authorized payees on the checking account you use to pay bills. Your bank will let you customize your payments, setting how much money will move out of your account and when.

3. Setup a Reminder System

Automation won’t work for irregular bills that don’t have a fixed schedule or bills that fluctuate every month. For these variable expenses, you’ll have to move money around manually — whether online or in-person at the bank.

Don’t bank on your memory to pay everything on time. Use these tips to jog your memory instead:

  • Authorize creditors to email or text you with reminders if they have this service available
  • Input dates into your phone’s calendar and set up notifications to remind you a day or two before they’re due
  • Track bills with a spreadsheet or paper document and cross off each bill as you pay them
  • Leave Post-It notes next to your computer
  • Use a budget app that sends notifications for upcoming bills
  • Pay all your bills at once, if you have the cash available
  • Share this responsibility with a partner

Never Pay Late Again

Stop beating yourself up over forgetting to pay a bill. Try these tips to help you remember and transfer money on time.

ImgCredit: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

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