Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fun with organizing bills

I love organizing things, I love order period. Order makes life easier for me. I am going to share with you how I organize my bills every month. Part of stewardship is keeping track of what you  owe in order to pay it and pay on time. The picture shows my bill filing system. 
I have a set of hanging files for all of my bills.
All of my monthly bills are put into a folder. The folder is marked with the month and year. For example all of my bills for May of this year are in a folder marked "May 2012". My folders are filed in chronological order with the most current in the front. For the most part as soon as my bills come in, I put them into the appropriate folder, especially with the little ones around. For the bills I pay online I throw away the envelope and put the bill into my folder, this prevents paper clutter. Any bill that's paid by check I put back into the envelope in order to keep them together. I then put the bill/envelope into my bill folder to be paid.
As I pay each bill whether online or by check I mark the bill "paid". I write the amount paid and date it, for future references.
My mortgage statements are separated from my other bills. For our primary residence I use online banking so my statements are filed electronically. If I need a copy I can print a statement out. I get monthly statements for our investment property and they are kept in a separate folder. As with the other bills, I mark the amount paid and the date. These are also filed in chronological order with current statements in the front.
Each bank that we bank with has it's own folder for monthly statements filed in chronological order.
To prevent clutter and keep one active filing system I use this simple technique. I pull all of the folders at the end of the year and put them into a plastic bin with a protective top. The year is marked and the bin is put away in the storage room or any place out of sight. (Sometimes under my bed.)  
I then get all new folders and mark them for the new year, put them in the hanging file and start the process all over. If I ever need to refer back a year or so, I know I can go get my bin and retrieve any information I need.
This past winter I was glad that I could go and pull out last years electric bills. My bills were running much higher than last year, I thought it was a mistake. I called the electric company with my last years winter bills in my hand in order to compare. Turns out the company had a 64% increase or something close to that. Even though my bills remained high I was glad that I was able to talk from a point of knowledge with facts in my hand. When I finished my conversation I quickly put my bills back into the folders and into the bin, safe and sound. Being organized can bring a sense of peace. Hope you enjoyed this post, I enjoyed sharing.
Stay tuned for the next post about the "bill paying station".

Remember: "True empowerment comes through stewardship"

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