I found out quickly that using the automatic bill pay feature many companies offer online is not for me. It's too automatic. You relinquish too much control to the company you're paying. I don’t know about you but I don’t like surprises when paying bills. They may slip in a rate increase and your chance of finding it is nil. Or some credit card charges could be fraudulent and you may not find out for months when it's too late.
Michelle Carley, Bookkeeper and Owner of Big E-Z Bookkeeping Co.
On the front of the card I list:
In the top right of the card, I put the due date in big letters like DUE the 5th of EACH MONTH.
First - Set Up an Internet Browser Just for Paying the Bills & Checking My Bank Balance
I like Google Chrome for browsing most websites. They seem to be able to weed out the fraudulent sites pretty well. But when it comes to bill paying and checking my bank account balances I use a separate, different browser just for that. You can use Firefox or Safari. I have two folders set up under Favorites. One folder has links to my bank accounts so I can check balances and the other has links to all the bills I pay online.
Secondly - Set Up A System that Contains All Your Bills to Pay in One Place
I like using a Rolodex for this purpose. I like the way everything is contained in the Rolodex plastic box with the flip up lid. And no, I don't represent the Rolodex company and I don't get a penny for mentioning this. (If you don't want to go to the expense of buying a Rolodex you could just use 3 x 5 cards with a rubber band around them to keep them together). Each Rolodex card holds all the information for each company I pay monthly. I do write small so I can list an entire year's payments on the back of the card. I just noticed that they now have a petite Rolodex on Amazon for $11 at this link.
Here is what I do and it works really well:
When I Get Paid
When I get paid, which is twice a month, I sit at the computer with my Rolodex plastic box with the little cards in it and set-up payments for the next two weeks. Here's what I do:
1) I make sure I received what I'm supposed to be paid and it is waiting in my bank account. (Waiting, as in waiting to be dispersed out)
2) I flip through the cards and pull out the ones with due dates coming up soon.
3) I open my designated browser for paying bills and click on the favorites link for the first company to pay.
4) I sign on with my login and password.
5) I look over the transactions to be sure everything is correct.
6) I determine how much I will pay.
7) I schedule the payment date to be the same as the due date or the day before it's due.
8) I record this information and the confirmation number (if they gave me one -- some companies don't, which is a little weird) on the back of the card.
And I go on to the next one and so on.
So, there you have it! The kit and caboodle. Everything from start to finish.
I hope you will try using this system and if you do, please contact me with your comments. I would love to hear from you!
I hope I have inspired you to get started paying bills online with confidence.
On the back of the card I list:
If you’re behind in your record keeping, Big E-Z Books can help! We now have an import feature that works like a charm. I would suggest you practice importing using the Free Trial first. Once you are current you want to keep it that way. So, as long as you keep up with it throughout the year, you will have the summary totals needed for your tax return. There is power in that! It is a great feeling to know you are in control of your accounting, you’re in balance and that you can trust the report totals you’re seeing.