5 Ways an Online Bill Payment Calendar SAVES My Life
If you have struggled with paying bills on time or even just remembering which bills are coming out of which paycheck on which day, sister I have the solution for you!
Let me tell you the TOP 5 WAYS my online bill payment calendar SAVES. MY. LIFE.
I used to forget to pay bills, forget when bills were getting automatically deducted, forget to send the check, all the things.
And then I figured out a super simple way to never forget - because I used something that I already looked at multiple times a day: MY CALENDAR!
Why Use an Online Bill Payment Calendar?
I have tried every mobile app on the market. Over the years I’ve created dozens of budget spreadsheets. I tried computer software that lived on my hard drive and expensive websites I could log into. I’ve even tried pretty printable bill calendars and budgets.
Nothing really stuck.
All of these were great for tracking what happened, but they didn’t help me get things paid on time and they didn’t tell me what was going to happen that week. I would use them for a bit, but then I would wander away.
I needed a way to keep track of my bills and other payments so I would stop paying stupid late fees, stop worrying about if I had enough cash to get groceries and gas that week, and I needed it to be EASY.
Enter the one thing I have with me every day: the calendar on my phone!
Just like you, the calendar on my phone goes where I go all day everyday. I literally never leave home without it. (And when I do, I go back and get it!)
Plus, because I used my online calendar, I could set up the bill reminder once and make it a repeating appointment so that it showed up every month on the correct day. I don’t know about you, but I can’t be trusted to copy all my bills month after month on my paper calendar. Creating a repeating “appointment” saved me from myself.
If this sounds as awesome to you as it did to me, I did a whole blog AND an extensive video on how to set up your own customized online bill payment calendar and you can find it HERE. I go through everything from how to set up a customized calendar just for your bills, so you can toggle it on and off if you want to, to how to create the actual “appointments” so you never forget a bill ever again!
5 Ways to Use an Online Bill Payment Calendar
Here are the Five Ways I use my online bill payment calendar to save my life each and every month!
My Regular Monthly Bills
Of course, the first way my bill calendar saves my life is having all my regular bills listed as appointments. My mortgage, car payment, all the bills that I consider “Needs” and keep the wheels on the bus that is my life!
I’ve created a repeating “appointment” on my calendar on the day the bill gets deducted from my checking account. I include the amount of the bill so it’s in the back of my mind as I’m spending money each week.
Quarterly and Annual Bills
These are the bills I used to forget, and forget to plan for, the most. Bills like my quarterly car insurance and homeowners insurance bills or my semi-annual property tax payment.
Putting these appointments on my calendar, and setting up an automatic savings plan, seriously saved my life and was a huge step in calming my overall anxiety about my money.
Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings, Etc.
I not only keep track of my regular monthly bills on my calendar, I also keep track of other purchases or expenditures I want to make for my nieces and nephews birthdays, my best friends anniversary, or when I get invited to a wedding. Having them on my calendar also makes my Sunday Money Date more productive!
On the first day of each month I’ve set up a reminder for all the birthdays or anniversaries I’m going to buy a present for or that I need to buy a card for during that month. (Yes, I still send cards.) Then I also set an appointment for the Saturday before the birthday and I add the amount I’ve decided I’m going to spend, the budget if you will, for that present. I set it for the Saturday before so that I remember to buy the dang present on time!
Do you see why my calendar saves my life???
It’s very rare for one of my clients to not have at least two or three recurring subscription payments. Either streaming services, some kind of Amazon Prime service or a meal service. I consider all of these regular bills, but some people don’t, so I carved it out into its own category.
Not only do I keep track of the date of these payments and how much they are in my bill calendar, I also use my calendar to manage that subscription.
For example, I have a couple of meal delivery and other monthly subscription services that I turn off and on. Most will let you pause your subscription for two to three months at a time. This is great for when I travel or when I’ve just gotten bored with the selections.
Whenever I pause the subscription, I add an appointment to my bill calendar reminding me when the subscription will restart. That way, if I’m happy it’s restarting, I can re-add that appointment to my calendar.
If I’m not ready for it to restart, then I have a trigger to login to the service and push it out another couple of months, adding a new appointment reminder for the next restart date.
I’m not going to say this has saved me thousands of dollars, but it’s definitely saved me hundreds.
I call groceries, eating out, gas, Target, Costco, things like that, my “Everything Else” expenses.
When I first started crafting my online bill calendar method, I would create an appointment for each of these types of expenses, including an approximate amount of what I was allowed to spend. I would create these appointments each week during my Sunday Money Date.
Going through this planning exercise helped me feel empowered and in control of my daily/weekly money and I had a plan going into the week of how much I was going to spend for each type of expense. When my money was suuuuuper tight, planning to this level of detail was crucial.
Additionally, adding this level of detail to my calendar, plus all the other things I’ve talked about, essentially created my entire budget right in my phone!
Steps to Create Your Own Bill Payment Calendar
I did a much longer blog and video on how to create and set up your own customized bill payment calendar with google, but here are the basic steps:
- Create “appointments” for each one of the bills you pay.
- If the bill is paid automatically, put the appointment on the day the bill usually gets deducted from your account.
- If you have to manually pay the bill, create a reminder 2-5 days in advance, depending on if you have to login to a website to pay it or mail an actual check.
- Include the amount of the bill to remind yourself of how much the bill is.
- Make those appointments repeating appointments where necessary.
- For a more detailed description go read THIS BLOG or WATCH THIS VIDEO.
- Feel calm, cool and organized around your money!
Keep Your Online Bill Calendar Up To Date With a Weekly Money Date!
As I said at the beginning, my online bill calendar saves my life. My money is organized, I know for sure that I’m not going to miss a payment and get a late fee, and I also know when bills or other payments are going to get automatically deducted. Which means I don’t get surprised by the deduction and I don’t overdraw my checking account.
This is why I love my calendar and it is my life. Because it is my life, I make sure it’s stored safely in the cloud. I use a google calendar, but any online calendar will do.
However, like any system, I also need a process to make sure it’s kept up to date. That’s why every Sunday afternoon I sit down and have a “Money Date” with myself.
My Money Date is my weekly check in with everything having to do with my financial life. I make sure I’m on track to meet my big savings goals. I also have a look at my checking account and what bills are getting deducted that week so that I know exactly how much I have to spend for Everything Else (groceries, eating out, etc.).
My Money Date keeps me organized, not only around my money, but in my life - and takes all of TEN MINUTES!
My Sunday Money Date is a big, big part of my overall Financial Wellness. Those ten minutes I spend each week going through everything about my money and my financial life set my week up to be organized, calm, peaceful and productive.
Here’s a brief rundown of everything I do when reviewing my Money Date Checklist:
- I review all my savings accounts and make sure I’m hitting my goals
- I look at Personal Capital, which is my favorite money app, at least right now. Personal Capital let’s me see ALL of my money so that I can keep track of my Net Worth. I check my net worth, my credit card balance and my investment account balances. If you want me to do a video on Personal Capital leave me a comment or send me a DM on Instagram!
- Then I look at my checking account balance and that’s when I pull up my Bill Calendar on my phone. I quickly add up the bills coming out that week and subtract that total against my checking account balance to make sure there’s not going to be any hiccups in my cash for the week!
The best part is this whole thing, my whole money date process takes me about 10 whole minutes. That’s it.
In those ten minutes I’ve looked at all my money, what’s coming in, what’s going out, my savings goals, my overall net worth, the whole kit and kaboodle.
And, I feel cool, calm, collected, organized and have set my week up to be as productive as possible because at least worrying about money is off the list!
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