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How will I manage so many bills on my own?

There are so many bills and as a starting young adult, how will I keep them under control and not slip through my fingers? #young-adults #finance #financial-planning

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Rebecca’s Answer

Firstly, you can categorize the bills, e.g. Public utilities (e.g. Electricity, Water Supply, etc. ) , Groceries (e.g. Food, etc. ), Insurance, etc.
Hence, you can keep tack the expense using Excel or other tools.
Then, you can consider how to settle these expenses, e.g. Cash, Autopay, Credit Card, etc.

Suggest you to have regular review on your expense and determine anything unnecessary.

Hope this help!
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Michael’s Answer

Isabella,

Bills are a necessary part of life. I applaud your desire to ensure that you make your payments on time. In order to achieve your goal of not missing a bill you must know what you’re spending. That way you aren’t surprised when that bill is due and you have the cash to pay it. Like the others posting here, it is clear that you need to budget your money. You can keep track of your expenses through Excel, Mint.com, or even in a plain old notepad. The key to the success of tracking expenses is to figure out what works for you. If you don’t like the process, then figure out another way that is more enjoyable to you.
Once you decide on how to track your spending, the second piece of the puzzle is making sure you don’t miss a payment due date. It would be nice if all you had to do is pay one bill a month and then you’re done. However, the reality of life is that you typically must pay each provider separately. Don’t get overwhelmed, though, as it is possible to achieve success.

1) Write down all of the service providers you have.
- Some examples: apartment company, electricity provider, natural gas company, internet provider, cell phone provider, and credit card company.


2) Know when the payments are due: Put the due dates of your bills in your phone calendar with a reminder on the day before they are due (recurring each month). That way your phone will remind you to make the payment if you already haven’t set it up.
- You will likely have a bunch of bills due on the first of the month, like rent/mortgage payments.

- The rest of your bills will have varying due dates based on when you started services with the provider, but those due dates are typically on the same day of the month each month.

Note that sometimes if your cash flow is tight based on a due date of a credit card, you can have the credit card company change the due date.

WARNING: I recommend living within your means and you should only use a credit card to help develop your credit score, but you should ALWAYS pay off the balance each month. Think of it like you would use cash. Not everyone can handle a credit card, so make sure you are ready before you get one.


3) Have an “expense party” every month where you grab a cup of coffee/tea and you go through what you spent since the last time you looked at it. At that time, set up the payments for each of the providers for the coming month.
- A lot of times, you can schedule the payment date for whenever you want it to post. Make sure you put in a payment date on or before the due date and on a day where you know you will have the cash in the account to pay the amount due.

NOTE: If you don’t have the money in the account, you will be hit with additional fees, which you don’t want.

-Make sure you look at your expenses at least once a month or break it up to twice a month. I prefer to look at my expenses/bills the day after I get my paycheck, which comes every two weeks.

- Use this time to also look at the non-recurring expenses from the past month (like medical bills).

One thing to keep in mind is that it takes time to figure out what works for you. Being organized is an important step in your financial freedom, but just being organized isn’t the most important part of the process. The most important part is that you are “adulting” and building yourself up for success today and in the future.

P.S. – If you have a great track record of on-time payments and you accidentally miss a due date, call your provider. Sometimes if you’re nice to the customer service agent and you have a great track record of timely payment, they may be willing to waive the additional fees. You can always ask, but don’t abuse their generosity or put yourself in a position of missing the due date on a recurring basis. We’re all humans and do make mistakes. Be proud of yourself for your successes and learn from the times when you fell short of your expectations.

Best of Luck,
Mike
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Kristine’s Answer

I agree with the other response - tracking, tracking, tracking! You don't have to buy an expensive software either. I used to keep an Excel spreadsheet with all my regular expenses so I knew how much I had to spend every month on bills and what my month income (after taxes, deductions) was, so I could see what the difference was and how much spending money I had. For each expense, I would keep track of how I was paying (auto pay, check, etc.) and relevant account information (account number, helpdesk phone number, etc.). You can also just track on paper if that works better. Other things you can do - keep all your bills in one place and write the due date on them and then write down when you pay them so you don't forget. Pay on time so you don't get stuck with stupid late fees! Good luck! You got this!
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Jennifer’s Answer

Hello Isabella,

I think the best way to think of you managing your own bills is saying this to yourself:

"I can manage my bills on my own and this is how I am going to do it!"


  1. I suggest you start by creating a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.
  • You'll want a column filled with all of your bills, including estimated amounts for gas, groceries, etc.

So, every bill you receive via e-mail or mail, make sure you check it to see if the amount is right and what the due date it. If you want to pay it online, always check to see what day it posts to your account so you pay it late.

  • You'll want another column filled with incoming money you anticipate
  • I would only do it for one month at a time and include dates for when things are due and when you anticipate the money coming in
  • Prioritize what you pay, and yes, you'll probably realize that you'll be living paycheck-to-paycheck, but that's normal!

Here is an example:

JULY 2018

Outgoing

Car Insurance $100.00 due 7/3/18 pd 7/2 (When paid put this so you know it's paid)

Gas/Groceries $75.00 due 7/5/18

Car Payment $150.00 due 7/5/18

Rent $400.00 due 7/15/18

Electric $100.00 due 7/20/18

Water $50.00 due 7/20/18

Gas/Groceries $75.00 due 7/20/18

Cell/Internet $100.00 due 7/31/18

TOTAL $1,050.00


Incoming

7/1/18 Work $600.00

7/15/18 Work $600.00

TOTAL $1,200.00

7/28/18 Work $600.00 (use for Aug)


With this example, you would have $150.00 left after bills, so spend a little on some fun and then put the rest into savings.


Don't overspend on gifts for friends and family. (You can always make them something or do something kind i.e Mow your parents lawn, make a friendship bracelet, make a pretty card, etc. Those types of gifts mean more anyways!)


Keep track of this monthly and should a bill pop-up unexpectedly, add it to the spreadsheet so you know that you might need to expect it the following year.


Using this technique has really helped my husband and I because it helps us determine how much money we can spend and how much money we need to put into savings. Some months will be tight (no starbucks, no movies), but know that if you skip on those things that month, it's much better for you.


I really hope this helps you!


Jenny



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Karla’s Answer

Hi Isabella-

Managing bills can be so overwhelming! I think it’s great that you are thinking ahead and reaching out for some guidance now. First and foremost, you need to create a budget. Whether you create a spreadsheet in excel or use an app, you need to track your income and your expenses/spending, and really know where you always stand financially. Once you have a budget in place, you can begin with a plan to tackle your bills. In the past (way before the era of apps!) I’ve used excel to create a budget and I’d use the excel tabs to enter individual account information (such as balances, payments, company’s contact information and due dates). Scheduling the due dates on your phone for payment reminders may also help. After you have a budget in place, and you have an idea of your overall financial situation, you can assess if any changes in your expenses/ spending need to be made (if you are living beyond your means). Reach out to your creditor, service providers etc, if you find yourself not being able to meet your financial obligations, most will be very helpful in assisting during financial difficult times.

I wish you all the best, good luck!
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