Bill paying systems: A reader asks “Dear Sue: Do you have any suggestions on how to organize household bill paying? My husband does that now and I would like to come up to speed on it. I would like to find a strategy that suits my style. That way I could take over the bill payment if I had to.”
Bill Paying: Questions to Ask as You Begin
#1 Complete the sentence. “I want to know more so we can figure out how to …… “
- be excellent role models for our children, teaching them about the value of money, money management, savings, or living within our means. [This is another `organizing` skill which is more of what I’d call a life skill.]
- stop magical thinking. You feel as if you`re spending too much, but do you really know?
- save for ___________. Understanding and managing the finances of today will help you save for your goals and having a goal is one of the best ways to stay focused and get it done.
- lower anxiety. You’re aware that you have more anxiety around money than is healthy. Could be a knowledge or skills issue. Money attitudes in how you were raised. A difference in saver/spender habits in your family now.
- negotiate better rates, use fewer credit cards, and pay down debt faster.
- live the best life we can as we shift into our next phase of life.
#2 What other systems work well for you – and why?
This question will help you get at the characteristics that already work well for you and your household, such as:
- How to get started with something new;
- How to remember what you have to do;
- How to make this a habit and a routine;
- How you handle life when it throws you a curve ball or when you get super busy?
- Products or software (tools) that work well for you? What do you like ? Why do they work for you?
- How much control do you need to have? Do you involve other people? How do you make that work?
These questions help you figure out what “style” of system work for you. Because “you” are still “you,” no matter what you are organizing. Organization is personal. Creating systems that work for you as well as others is not easy.
And if you don’t answer many of these questions first, then you will create a bill paying system that will not work well for you over time.
There are three pieces for a system to work: the steps or process you use; the products/tools/apps you use; and the people aspects (habits, working/thinking style). All three need to work well for your system to be easy and support your reasons for creating it.
Next article will focus on the practicalities.
My Pinterest Board has more about “Your Money Life.”
Or if you need to work out what your own system is, I work in person or virtually on this question with people.
In person, we’d go through what you have and set up the system together. By phone, we’d figure out your roadmap and you’d work at it on your own, perhaps with some accountability calls scheduled, to act as your safety net.
Sue@OrganizeNH.com or call 603.554.1948.