"I was actually waiting for your book to come out at Barnes and Noble, and reserved it two weeks before it came out. I told my therapist about it and your web site and how you made a positive impact on me." -M
Read More Testimonials»

Our Getting Organized Experts

Peter Walsh

Peter Walsh

Design professional and star of TLC's Clean Sweep

Shared by First30Days View Profile»
Meryl Starr

Meryl Starr

Organizing expert, author and personal consultant

Shared by First30Days View Profile»
Debbie Stanley

Debbie Stanley

Author and owner of Red Letter Day, a professional organizing...

Shared by First30Days View Profile»

Meet all of our New Directions Experts»

Got a Question?

Q&A

If you have questions about this change, you're in the right place. Our editors, experts, and community of change optimists have answers!

ToshiroMifune

Question:What are some ways to manage your household bills?

I'd like to get a better handle on my household bills. I'm thinking of looking into Link. It lets you budget money BEFORE you spend it.

Anyone use the envelope method with success?

Asked by ToshiroMifune on 8/20/08 5 Answers»
iowasuz

Answer:

I gave this same answer under mail - guess it should have gone here ----

I have a plastic shoe box bin in which I file all of the non-electronic bills when they are received. I also created a Excel spreadsheet listing all of the routine bills due during the year and when they are due and how they are normally paid (check, credit card, web). Then I have 12 columns for months, along with 2 colums for each month in which I write the date paid and how. One glance tells me where I am for the month, and which bills to look for. This keeps me on track, but if my husband has time to help, he can tell where we are.

One more tip - when I receive the electronic bill, I pay it right away with a delayed date if the site allows. Then I post it on my spreadsheet with the date that the bill will be paid.

Answered by: iowasuz on 1/12/09
bcherep

Answer:

I'm the kind of guy who uses online bill paying but also keeps a paper trail. Eventually I may drop the printing of the bill out and actually back up my computer every once in a while. There is just something comforting to me about having the bills there even if the power goes out for a week.

Answered by: bcherep on 10/2/08
stevewhardin

Answer:

I use online banking and with the bill comes in, I just open my web browser and pay the bill. That way I have paid it and it is out of my mind.

Answered by: stevewhardin on 9/29/08
aliciak

Answer:

I have no official method for dealing with them either. I write down the due dates in my calendar, just in case something gets stuck underneath paper and I forget. I'm so OCD about not using my credit card unless I absolutely have to, so I rarely encounter having spent too much. I think setting the payment plans to be done by your debit card is smart. That way, the money is GONE right away, as it should be.

Answered by: aliciak on 9/16/08
VictoriaB

Answer:

I haven't used the envelopes method but I know from everything I've read that the first thing to do is create a budget. Write down everything you spend money on and monitor your daily miscellaneous expenses, or what David Bach calls the "latte factor."
I've heard people praise a program called Mint that is free online budgeting software. I found a squidoo page about it that helps explain the benefits.
Link

Answered by: VictoriaB on 8/20/08
Got an Answer?