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  • Bill Paying

    Since I'm getting back into a very strict budget, and I think it takes a few months to sort out payments, I was wondering how do people handling bill paying? I used to pay all bills at the 1st of the month and that naturally lent to working a month ahead. This was because I used to get paid once a month on the first of the month. So it was easier to work ahead and pay everything, rent, utilities, car, insurance, etc on the 1st when I used to get paid and then there was the rest. This last a very long time. Then as we got older I tended to auto-pay stuff and still do. I auto pay utilities, cell phone, water bill, pretty much everything. But I also started sink funds to pay off the once a year life insurance, home, auto, amazon prime, costco, aaa, kids math program, and I'm debating including kids summer camps.

    But I'm becoming so particular with savings and I'm trying desperately to save for retirement on our new budget that I want to account and pay off all our bills. So I'm getting anxious and I'm a naturally anxious person about just paying off our credit cards as soon as the money hits our account so I don't have to worry about earning 0.3% interest. Is this weird? Should I be waiting till May 3rd for my CC which has as balance of $6k right now and i can pretty much pay off now? I tend to pay our smaller credit cards when I get the statement so I paid our Costco Citi LAL and DH and discover. Then our main CC is all that's left. This month it's high because of GS cookies I ran through a ton and VRBO that was $2100. So my anxiety just bothers me. My CC is run more like a checkbook where I know my running balance and what I "want" to spend per month. It keeps me from ever overspending and have %. I've never paid % on a CC because we don't normally buy stuff we can't afford.

    And when we were younger and poorer I really just put it away and didn't spend if it looked like too much (my balance at that time was $800/month )
    LivingAlmostLarge Blog

  • #2
    I pay my bills online the day before they are due.
    That's pretty much it.
    I guess I've never overthought it that much
    Brian

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    • #3
      Almost all bills that accept credit card payment without a fee are auto-charged to the credit card.

      Most bills that don't accept credit card payment or charge a fee do an auto-pay from our checking account.

      The only bills I pay manually are the credit card bills and a handful of others like the sewer, car registration, auto insurance, etc.

      So nearly all of our bill paying is done automatically. It makes for much less stress and minimizes the chance of errors or missed or late payments.
      Steve

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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      • #4
        Most are auto pay credit card but paying the credit card itself. Do you pay right before they are due?
        LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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        • #5
          Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post
          paying the credit card itself. Do you pay right before they are due?
          I do not. I pay when the bill comes. No chance of forgetting or misplacing it. I'm paying out of our checking account which earns no interest so there's no benefit to waiting - only the risk of screwing up. Even if we earned a small amount of interest, I'd do it the same way.
          Steve

          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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          • #6
            My bill pay habits are very similar to BJL & DS.

            - Everything is paid online via auto-payment, basically except taxes, tithing, and one-off payments to contractors or otherwise. I pay those manually, either by check or online.
            - Auto-pay removes almost all concern about missing payments, errors, or otherwise. I just have to monitor my checking balance to ensure it's got what I need (and use free overdraft transfers from co-located savings as a backstop just in case)
            - To the extent possible (without processing fees), everything charges to my credit card. Those that charge fees (plus my CC bills) are auto-drafted from checking.
            - I auto-pay credit cards, utilities, etc. the day before they're due, setup through the company's site (so it's their fault if something goes screwy...which has happened once or twice).
            - I get paid on the 1st & 15th every month, and I try to balance when my bills will draft from checking, so that they're balanced throughout the month. Typically I bunch them to be shortly after my pay dates. Credit card companies (sometimes utility companies) will let you change your statement date (thus due date, thus payment date), which has been helpful for me.
            "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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            • #7
              By default, auto-payments set for any bill/charge that doesn't require a convenience fee are through credit card for points. Most due dates at the end of the month. Auto insurance, cell plan, VPN, are paid for in full to get discounts, but still using CC.

              If I was in my house, utilities are auto paid through debit/checking account. Like others, I check my CC/Checking accounts activity every other day. I think the only time I manually send a payment is if I owe for taxes, 2-3 days before the due date, or tuition.
              "I'd buy that for a dollar!"

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              • #8
                I haven’t really thought about this.

                For anything that’s not on auto pay, we pay them as soon as they come in.

                Credit cards are the exception. I go in every couple of weeks or so and pay them off. I don’t like having a statement balance.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jenn_jenn View Post
                  I haven’t really thought about this.

                  For anything that’s not on auto pay, we pay them as soon as they come in.

                  Credit cards are the exception. I go in every couple of weeks or so and pay them off. I don’t like having a statement balance.

                  The advantage of using credit cards is that if you are disciplined enough to pay in full every month by the due date, you pay no interest, plus you accumulate a percentage of points or dollars for every dollar of purchasing done on the card.
                  What's the point of making a mid month payment? It's not costing you anything or affecting your credit.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Fishindude77 View Post


                    The advantage of using credit cards is that if you are disciplined enough to pay in full every month by the due date, you pay no interest, plus you accumulate a percentage of points or dollars for every dollar of purchasing done on the card.
                    What's the point of making a mid month payment? It's not costing you anything or affecting your credit.
                    I think it drives people nuts. For me it is driving me nuts seeing my balance. I feel an itch right now to pay it off and be done.
                    LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fishindude77 View Post


                      The advantage of using credit cards is that if you are disciplined enough to pay in full every month by the due date, you pay no interest, plus you accumulate a percentage of points or dollars for every dollar of purchasing done on the card.
                      What's the point of making a mid month payment? It's not costing you anything or affecting your credit.
                      It actually does affect credit. I know this because there was one month that I didn’t make the mid month payment and had a couple of large purchases. My credit score dropped a little bit due to higher credit utilization because I had a statement balance - even though that balance was paid by the due date and didn’t carry a balance from one period to the next.

                      That’s not why I do it though. I just don’t like owing money. Since I’m monitoring my card and spending, why not just pay it off when I’m looking at it?

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                      • #12
                        I pay my bill before the statement closing date and a bit extra. Basically making an extra payment and carrying a balance into the next month helps to cultivate a higher credit score by reducing the utilization recorded on the credit report and save some financial charges to boost.

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                        • #13
                          A lot of bills are no longer due on First of the Month

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