Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Organized Bill Binder

I use a 3-inch binder to keep my current (the past 6 months) bills organized.  I just recently purchased one of the Better Binders from Staples to replace my old one which had seen better days.  I got the hot pink color because it's the only thing that could possibly be cheery about doing the bills.

I have a pencil pouch in the front which houses my calculator, a black or blue ink pen, a red pen and a pencil.

 Behind that pouch is a clear plastic pouch which houses my outstanding bill stubs with their coordinating envelope, stamps, return address labels and my checkbook.  The bill stubs are piled in order of their due date with the earliest due being on the top.

Behind that are my blank calendar pages that I printed out from the internet.  Here is where I write down every single bill on the day that it is due and how much is due.  I try to do them a month in advance to help me calculate how much will be needed around the time the two months meet.  I use pencil to fill them in because some of my bills minimum payments change every month, those are usually the credit cards.  So when I am filling out the next months calendar, I make a guess on those amounts and change them once I get the actual bill in the mail.  I also fill in the pay days and what I estimate will be the income on that day.  I highlight that amount to help me see when the money will be replenished while I am figuring out how much there will be leftover after all of the bills are paid from that pay day.

And behind that are Avery Big Tab Insertable plastic dividers.  I have 5 sets of 8.  They are not all being used, but most are.  I have A LOT of bills.  Every single bill I receive has a divider.  Electric, internet, water, sewar, mortgage, loans, doctor bills, credit cards, etc.  You get the point.  If I have to pay it monthly, every 3 months, yearly, etc., it has a divider. 

When I receive my mail, I toss it in my "portable office" bag (a thirtyone organizer tote), and there it stays until I get a chance to go through it.  I usually make time daily.  I open the bills and immediately check the amount due with my calendar and make any needed adjustments.  I rip off the payment stub and stick it under the payment envelope.  I file that into my pile of outstanding bills.  I punch 3 holes in the statement and file it its appropriate divider in the binder.  I put the current bill on the top.  This way I can easily find it if I have questions about the charges and to be able to compare it to the last months statement.  I try to clean out my binder every 6 months or so.  At that time I file all of the statements into my filing cabinet.

I usually pay my bills on pay day.  I see how much money there is and I try to pay all of the bills that are due between that pay day and the next one.  Once I write out the check, I cross off that bill on the calendar in red pen.  This way I know I wrote the check and that I can deduct this amount from my check register.

And that's about it!  I hope this was easy to understand and that you are inspired to create your own bill binder.  I have had this system for over 2 years now and have no idea how I kept it all straight before then.  Leave a comment if you have any questions and I will be happy to elaborate on whatever you want!

Linking up here

Organizing Homelife

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