http://www.ClutterDiet.com Get organized with home organizing tips from professional organizers at The Clutter Diet. Do you get your money for nothin’ and your chicks for free? Thought so. She works hard for the money and so do you. So you should streamline your finance and pay options. In today’s video Lorie Marrero shares ten strategies for organizing your invoices and online banking. Following these tips will make bill paying time less stressful and more productive. Go on, take the money and run- to pay your bills more efficiently. These Clutter Video Tips are posted frequently here on our clutterdiet organizing channel. You can search Twitter for #ClutterVideoTip also to find comments on our organizing tips. Lorie Marrero is the creator of ClutterDiet.com and the author of The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life. Lorie also serves as the national spokesperson for Goodwill Industries International and ambassador of the Donate Movement.
Hi I’m Lorie Marrero creator of the Clutter Diet book & online program, I have 10 tips for you to pay your bills more efficiently. That’s important because disorganization is very costly.
First, make sure you have a home for your supplies. A basket, drawer or something with all of the bill-paying supplies you need. Rubber stamps, letter openers, pens, pencils, stamps, envelopes, etc. Centralize that, have a station for it, because you do it all the time.
Decide what days you’re going to pay your bills & stick to it. The first & the 15th of the month, or every other week, every Saturday. Whatever it is, make up your own schedule. That’s going to give you peace of mind, because if you know, “I’m paying bills on this day,” you’re not going to have that floating around in your mind.
Keep your bills together as they arrive. Have a designated place for all the bills to go. Use a basket, a letter sorter, a tray, or even just a clothespin that you have on a magnet on your refrigerator. Wherever it is, have all those bills together so you know exactly where they are when it’s time to pay them.
Think about automating all the bills that you can. Anything that you can have a direct relationship with the vendor to be paid automatically out of your checking account, or onto a credit card, just get that not to be a manual process. So you can rest assured that your cable bill is just going to get paid, without having to worry about it.
Don’t handwrite checks unless you really have to. You can do a lot of bill- paying through most major banks on their web sites & they will send the check out for you. You can usually even post-date when you want them to send that check out so you can pay the bills ahead of time that way. It’s a bit more secure if you don’t leave handwritten outgoing checks in your mailbox.
Consolidate your bills & credit cards as much as possible. Instead of having a whole bunch of different department store & gas station credit cards, that way you have fewer accounts & fewer bills.
Get rubber stamps made. This is a process that you do over & over again, so make a system for it. If you’re always writing “for deposit only” with your bank account number, have a stamp made with that on it. You might want a stamp that says “paid” & then you can change the date on it. That enables you to quickly stamp things & know that you’ve paid them on a certain day.
A lot of people ask me about keeping bills. For a business, keep every receipt & every invoice. For your personal life, it’s really not that necessary usually to keep every receipt. If you do want to file your bills, what we find the most efficient is an accordion file. This is pre-marked January through December & you just pay your bills & stick them in the appropriate month. At the end of the year bundle it up & you’re done. Much easier than trying to create separate files for separate vendors & parse every single one of those bills into every file every month.
Go paperless as much as possible. The perfect combination is automated & paperless. The bill’s automatically drafted & you get an e-mail saying how much you paid, then file an attached PDF statement or something electronically & not have to file the paper. Going paperless is a great way to reduce the amount of file cabinets that you need & the amount of processing time that you have & simplify things greatly.
Organize your wallet & your purse. On bill-paying day pull the receipts out of your wallet & purse & process those & put them into your bank software.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips, & I hope your bill-paying gets much more efficient & you save a lot of money. Until then, check out our Home Office Handbook. You can see a lot about that at http://www.clutterdiet.com/homeoffice.
See you next time, & may you always be happy & grateful for having more than enough.