Part 1: Pay your bills on time
By Finn Dorney
One of the most common issues I come across with my clients is the issue of bills and cash flow. That is, simply having enough money to pay them and paying them on time.
In my bill paying blog series, I'll provide you with some hints and tips on how you can pay your bills on time, ways you can get on top of your repayments and how you can potentially save some money by being a little savvier. Having better money management, avoiding fees and taking advantage of discounts can ultimately lead to fatter pockets!
Part 1 - Pay your bills on time
Did you know that poor bill paying methods can actually be costing you money?
By making a few small changes you could actually save money while paying bills. Here are some simple tips that will make your bill paying process a more efficient and potentially profitable exercise:
- Pay your bills online - this saves you time and helps avoid late payment fees
- Set up an automatic bill payment - you can set up dates for payment and specify fixed amounts through your bank or other financial institution, or even through specific service providers that accept payments in this manner. Setting up a regular fixed or pre-determined payment towards larger utility bills can help to smooth out your payments and avoid bill shock.
Some excellent candidates for auto bill payment include:
- your mortgage
- phone and Internet
- other debt payments eg: personal loans, private health insurance
Avoid the nasties!
These tips sounds easy enough but almost everyone has been guilty of making a late payment from time-to-time. Reasons could include issues such as misplaced bills or just being busy and a little disorganised. However overdue payments have consequences including late fee charges. Sometimes it can even lead to an adverse credit rating.
Surcharges can also often apply to credit card payments made over the phone, Internet or in person so make sure you check before paying. An effective alternative is to use direct debit, which is a method of transferring money directly from your bank to another institution.
And don't forget if you have direct debits set up to always notify relevant institutions and utilities if you change your bank account details. This will ensure you avoid missed payments and those dreaded fees!
Overall the key to overcoming these fees and surcharges is organisation. Review your mail as it is received and have a bill filing system that you can follow.
If you are seeking help with cash flow and money management why not get some advice from a financial adviser.
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