Establishing an Efficient Bill-Paying System

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oIf you have a steady income source, consider signing up for online payment systems for as many of your monthly bills as possible.
This will take the headache out of many of your payments right off the top.
oFor those bills that do come in the mail, have a special basket or bin to place them separately from all the other mail that arrives.
Make sure to reserve this bin just for those papers and nothing else.
oWhen you come in the door with an armful of mail, take just a moment to do a quick sort and separate the bills and other financial statements into that basket or bin.
This step doesn't take as long as it may seem, and you'll be glad you did it later.
oWhen you open that bill later on, don't think of the due date.
Instead, think of the date you need to send the payment in order for it to arrive on time.
Then, record this as a to-do item on your palm pilot or calendar for that date.
oIn that basket or bin for bills, you can also have a calculator, stamps, address labels, and anything else you might need to make getting those payments out the door easier.
oSet aside a regular appointment with yourself at least every two weeks to review your bill basket to build good habits of processing your important papers regularly.
oConsider canceling all your credit cards but one.
Then when you make a purchase with it, record that in your checkbook like you do with your cash cards.
That way, you'll see as you get close to overextending your ability to make your payment in full that month.
oKeep track of all your financial documents easily by purchasing an accordion file that's labeled by the month and/or type of statement like credit cards, insurance, banking, charitable donations, and so on.
At the end of the year, you'll have everything you need in one handy place for preparing your taxes.
oEmpty this accordion file after your taxes have been prepared, store the documents in a large 11x14 mailing envelope labeled with the year, and reuse the accordion file again for your next year of statements.
oTo cut down on the amount of paper you're accumulating, try to purge as you go along during the year.
Once you receive a quarterly statement of activity you no longer need the monthly statements, and once a year-end summary arrives you can shred the quarterly statements.
Always check with your financial advisor or accountant first to discuss the specifics regarding your tax requirements.
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