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Working to pay off debt is a worthwhile goal, but it shouldn’t completely consume your life and happiness. For more information about filing for bankruptcy, contact DeLuca & Associates at (702) 252-4673¬†for a free consultation. Another thing did was that we called all of the doctors offices and the hospital to explain our situation. The biggest change, of course, is that we now stick to a budget, and that means we have enough money to pay the bills. At the start of the year, I go through and mark all our regular expenses and our regular income. For instance, we have a contract for a home-security system, and that payment is due the 14th of each month. Obviously, that’s a problem if something comes up and you forget or are unable to pay, because you have almost no wiggle room. But the other problem was that I was paying bills here and there throughout the month, and that was a recipe for disaster. There are some accounts for which I receive e-bills, and when that happens, I stick to step 1 above when I get the email.
So if you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know that I keep a detailed check register.
With each payment (either by check or online), I highlight the line in the calendar to show it’s been paid.
Last but absolutely not least, I go back to our Most Hated Debt, if it’s part of that set of bills. Ryan, thanks for the idea, but this is one of a few areas where we choose to pay more because we particularly like some facet of what we get for the extra cost!
Just depends on what you choose to spend your cash on – and the beautiful part is that’s different for everyone! It is similar to your paper calendar – I can look and see what amount is coming out on what day of the month, as well as when paychecks are expected, but it is all electronic. But you have the exactly right mindset and you’re aware of what you REALLY have, which I think is key! I got really paranoid about bank balances when I had an account with Chase – they would process transactions to make themselves the most money. I think it would be too much work for a lot of people – but it’s time we choose to invest in this way, and we really do look at it as an investment! At the beginning of the year, I go into Google calendar and put all our paydays and bill due dates in the calendar. Kim, I think automating is one of those things that SOUNDS really good for a lot of people. I’m glad you found it helpful – and I wish you the best in finding a good system for you! Over the past two years, we have made drastic changes in our lifestyle that made bill paying easy for us. With Q, you put in your monthly transactions, plug in a monthly date, and it lists them all and will even give you reminders. For those without on-line access or Quicken, however, Joan’s system is pretty fool proof for never paying another late fee. I was interested to read through the comments and to hear from friends the number of people who use online bill-pay through a particular bank.
I guess the benefit is seeing everything in one place, but I like going to the various sites because it gives me a chance to check the account in general, update my contact info, all that sort of thing!
Anyway, glad you have a system that works – and that you’re budgeting and tracking, which is the BIGGEST takeaway, I think! Glad you have a good system, Michael – wish I’d set mine up while I was still in college! I’m a calendar girl too but when I see it loaded with stuff I feel as if all the spontaneity has gone out of my life!
It definitely can look like that – or I can just look at the things on the calendar as ways to remind myself of my options.


I keep an excel sheet for each month and its marked for each payday(money coming in) and under that is when each payment goes out, for what, etc. Michele, I appreciate your kind words so much – and am glad you found this idea helpful! I think it is great that you have a system for paying your bills by the way so kudos to you. Paying on time was our first step too, a few years ago, so that’s a very solid start! The one thing I do to stay ahead of yearly bills or every six months bills, is this: when that yearly bill is paid I then divide that amount by 12 months and I then transfer that monthly amount into a savings account and by the time the bill is due again 1 year later I have the money already in the savings account. Hang in there everybody… eventually we’ll get to KEEP most of the money we earn! If you feel that your debt is beyond managing alone, bankruptcy may be the right option for you. Hospital stays are expensive, so they have divisions that work with people to get their bills paid.
I used to rack up late fees, even when I had sufficient money in my account, because I was keeping track of bills by their due date. For the most part, though, I get hard copies, and I slide them right inside the calendar, usually in the order I’m going to pay them.
I balance the checkbook first, then I knock out most online payments (credit cards, utilities and so on). When I get to the end of the bills, and I see we can still hit this debt hard, that’s an amazing feeling! I like to get the bills in the mail, go through the process of opening them and writing the amounts down, and then on the opposite end, I like to tangibly see the pile of bills go down after I’ve paid them. Or maybe you already have a system that works well for you – using an online calendar or some other tool. Having installed security systems for one of the summer sales companies (similar to APX) I know that these systems are a waste of money for 95% of those who buy them. Once you’re no longer under contract, you should at least switch to a lower-priced company, or even just call up your current monitoring company and ask for a lower rate. My security system is an ADT sign in my yard, and if that ever feels inadequate I’ll get a dog. You can set bills to be paid directly from the account, or you can set placeholders for bills you will pay offline but will still be deducted from that account. The majority of bills are due on the 1st, though there are a few others scattered throughout the month that are auto-paid, so I don’t have to worry about missing them.
I then review the calendar for any issues that might come up that need to be dealt with ahead of time (like insurance payments and other odd bills). The first one is an email that will come into my inbox at about the time the bill is issues. I get email reminders from a couple of my credit cards just as an extra backup and really am glad I chose to do it.
We use a spreadsheet to track our debt as well, which I’ve written about in the past – I find that incredibly helpful!
I keep a note in Google calendar to pay my bills on the 15th, and check Mint a few times a month to go over my expenses. Life has become far too regimented and a busy life seems to be the criteria for becoming a member of the rat race. That actually very closely matches what my husband did before we got married – and he liked it for the same reasons. This means a lot of the actions that I have to complete (such as paying bills) need to be done faster. Your style really appeals to me and I’ve taken quite a few of your suggestions to heart.
I’m so glad you found a system that works for you, and in some cases, an extra account IS simpler – if it makes it more straightforward about what money is used for what! I do the same thing for the 6 month bills just divide it by 6 to get the monthly budget amount.


We plan to do that when we move to having our property taxes NOT escrowed (a few years from now).
After years of struggling, late fees, and being totally disorganized, I discovered iCal on my Mac and iPhone and have never looked back.
Then, as soon as I’m paid I can see all of the debts owed until the next payday and I pay them all in one big whomp.
Bankruptcy can eliminate all or part of your debt, and in some cases, you may even be able to pay off specific debts in order to preserve your relationship with creditors. This love of bill-paying is only a recent change; before we started our war on consumer debt, we were always the people with more month than money. Well, let me show your our system, and then we’ll talk about why I think it works so well for us. I finish the bills off with a real sense of accomplishment when I see that high balance go down. But then, right above that was a $45 credit because they decided I didn’t really overdraft.
We just keep the calendar separate to track both debt and recurring expenses like utilities. Last night we were going through our individual personal budgets and it was interesting to see a difference I have also noticed in your post and was wondering if this was an American mindset.
I use paper but not a calendar…i just have a notebook with a list and every month I copy the list to the following month, with the amounts and due dates. Some doctors offices also reduced our cost for paying some bills off in one lump sum or by calling and talking with them about our circumstances. When we make side money, that’s obviously great, but our bill-paying is now based only on our regular income. Just in case something would come up, I also have a second alert in the calendar that will send me a text message about 10 days before the bill is due. I know what my monthly expenses are because I perform a similar task as you with the exception that mine if excel based. Even though Baker says simplify your finances, I actually improved our bill paying system dramatically by opening a second checking account.
Alarm companies love to lock you into a 2 or 3 year contract so they can provide inferior service. Then, if I haven’t paid it at that point, I have a quick reminder to get myself into gear and get it paid. My job now pays less and I’m not living paycheck to paycheck and actually saving money!
The tangible theory that you outline is still there for me because once per month I make adjustments to my spreadsheet and could see me debt coming down (I currently don’t have anymore debt). I’m grateful to the team at Man Vs Debt for the inspiration to work on our financial situation, and am hoping to be able to be a part of a class sometime soon! I started an excel sheet earlier this year and lost track…thinking I need to revisit. I had to have surgery and a 10 day hospital stay in the US while a student there and even with insurance I had to pay about $8,000 out of pocket.
I think that this family could use your help in negotiating with hospitals and which charities they could apply to for help. It took 5 years, but they paid off all those bills using this same strategy and trusting the Lord to meet our needs!
He is truly able to care for His children.Thanks so much for linking up to the Weekend Wind-Down party.
Would you consider adding our button or a text link somewhere on your site so we can feature you?




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