You are reading Week 42 of 52 Weeks to Eliminate Debt & Curb Spending. Please read the overview here to learn more about the series & get your FREE financial planner. If you just joined us, please start with week 1.
One thing to do before you begin a new year, is to change your bill pay method for debt relief. As you have struggled through this year, you have likely noticed how you paid your bills made a difference in how timely they arrived, late fees assessed and how easy it was to remember.
It also means that you will be writing & mailing less checks each month. You won’t have to purchase checks as frequently or pay for postage.
Here are some options for changing your bill pay method to work better for you and your goals of getting rid of debt:
Use banking bill pay feature. Most banks now offer a simple online bill pay feature. You can set up your bills with the bank so that a check will be cut from the bank and mailed directly by them to your creditor before the due date. This takes away your need to write a check or call and make a payment.
I have all my bills set up through my bank. Some of my bills I can even get sent directly to my bank as well. I get an email to notify me when a new bill is available. I simply login and select to pay.
Request automatic draft from your bank account. Ask for the forms to set up automatic draft from your bank account to the creditor. Many utility companies, credit cards and mortgages will allow the auto draft feature. This is a fee free method of making sure your bills are always paid on time.
Online payment service through biller. Most companies also offer an online payment option. You can login to your account and pay your bill for free. While there is nothing wrong with this method of payment, I personally prefer not to have my payment information on file with a lender.
Create a weekly bill paying routine. Create a routine that you use on a weekly basis of going through your current outstanding bills to make sure they are paid on time. Set up a schedule on your calendar and create a bill pay station so it is easy to keep track of.
Pay large bills once per year when tax refunds arrive. When your income tax refund arrives each year, make an effort to pay some things in bulk. Auto and health insurance payments for six months to a year are excellent choices to help loosen your monthly budget and put that refund to good use. Sometime you can even get a discount for paying in advance. Just make sure to crunch the numbers to see if paying the amount down on a credit card is a better value.
Changing your bill pay method for debt relief simply means making it a bit more routine and steady. This helps you to avoid accumulating late fees, and will in the end result in better success in paying off you debt and remaining debt free.
Week 42 Challenge:
Review the automatic payment methods available to you. Start switching your bills over for added convenience and to save money.
Disclosure: I am not a financial adviser nor do I have formal financial training. All articles are for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice or consultation. Please consult your account and/or financial adviser before making changes to your finances. All situations are different, so please consult a professional to determine your individual needs.