Do you often forget to check your bills? That's understandable — bills have a habit of coming in when we least expect. So, how do you keep on track of them?
The trick to keeping track of your bills is simple — it's all about figuring out what makes things' stick' in your mind. Are you a constant phone checker, a diary keeper or someone who keeps post-it notes? Do you take more notice of your bank account or your iPhone calendar?
Here, we'll explore a few ways to help you pay bills on time.
Setting up an automatic payment on your bank account is a great way to ensure they go through and save you the hassle of re-entering your provider's details every time. But be aware — automatic payments still try to go through, even if there's nothing in your account to make the payment.
What about direct debit payments?
Direct debits are automatic payments from a bank or other organisation, which allows your provider to collect the money you owe. Automatic payments are great for taking the problem out of your hands, but you need to make sure your account stays topped up, so there's enough money in it for them to collect.
Try setting a reminder to check on your payment. To be extra safe, select your payment to the day before the due date to allow time for the payment to come through.
Set a reminder with your phone.
By going into the alarm settings on your phone, you can add a new alert specifically for your payment. If your phone lets you add text, put a short description in (i.e. $125 due tomorrow on car repayments).
Another idea is to set your alarm to go off at an unusual time — 3:42 pm or 11:36 am. The strange alarm alert may be enough to tip you off.
Google and other online calendars.
Most email and online platforms will have their inbuilt calendar system, where you can set reminders. Outlook, Google and other email providers all do this.
You can also try sending yourself an email or text message if you're out on the go.
Try paper notes if you're more likely to see something when it's written out. Hang it somewhere you will notice it, cover it in post-it notes, colour it in with crayon — whatever works.
Save your receipts and bills.
Receipts and bills will have the details you need on them, like payment and contact information. If you still receive paper receipts, try making space on your hard drive or keep them in a folder.
Set payments to come out on the same day.
If you're juggling multiple loans or credit card bills, you might want to have payments all come in at once and make a day of it. That way, you know exactly when to expect a 'dip' in your account.
Pay bills as they come in.
Another way to remind yourself is to pay bills as they come in. That way, you don't end up putting it off till later.
Make your repayments one single repayment.
Turning all your repayments into one single repayment is called debt consolidation. We've got a whole blog on that topic if you want to know more.
If you're struggling to pay bills, it may be due to overextending your account, adding new credit cards when you reach the max on an old one, or taking out too many loans. All of these actions can hurt your credit score if you're unable to pay back on time and in full.
Debt consolidation is one answer to this — so is talking to your provider about changing your loan agreement to create more manageable payments.
Yonda is a great way to engage with your credit history and build a better credit score. We've even designed handy little notifications to help you check up on missed payments and defaults and tell you when you're doing well.
There are many ways to get payment reminders to stick, from emails, calendars, phone reminders and more. Whatever you do, make sure you give yourself time to repay and check you have enough in your account. That way, you can keep up a positive repayment history and grow your credit score simultaneously.