Hey – thanks for stopping by to read about single women and paying bills! The fifth in the series of becoming a financially savvy single woman.

Part of becoming a financially savvy single woman is keeping on top of your bills and avoiding late payments that can come with penalties.

Where’s the money going?

More Monthly Income is Needed

You want to understand how much money you have coming in and going out. Some people call this a budget, but I’m not that disciplined to do a normal budget.

Instead, I do a backwards budget. I keep track of my income and expenses for a few months so that I know approximately how much money I spend monthly. Then I make sure I have enough money in my account to cover my spending.

And when I say spending, I’m using the term loosely. I spend money on rent, groceries, phone, Internet, car insurance, pet food, and other necessities. My “spending” is rarely on fun stuff.

Paying your bills on time as well as paying off your debt all contribute to your credit score. If your credit score is good or if it’s bad can affect you when it comes time to rent, take out a loan, and sometimes even to get a job.

Different types of bills

We all have different types of bills we have to pay. Some are fixed bills that always have the same amount and are usually due at the same time each month.

These type of bills include rent or mortgage, car payments, car insurance, student loans and personal loans.

Other bills have a variance. They are usually paid around the same time each month, but the amounts fluctuate. These type of bills include credit cards, phone, cable, and utilities.

Different types of bill payers

Whether or not people have the money to pay their bills, there are generally two types of people when it comes to paying bills.

One type just can’t be bothered. They’re not so good at keeping track of when the due date is. They forget. They put it off. They pay their bills late frequently and aren’t too concerned about it.

The other type are people who are on top of all their money matters. They probably keep budgets and spreadsheets and pay their bills off well in advance of the due date. They never pay their bills late.

Pay those bills asap

If you have the money to do so, pay the bill as soon as you receive it.

If you’re waiting for payday and money in your bank account, set a reminder on your Outlook calendar or on your phone at least two days before the bill is due.

Gather up bills that have been sitting on the coffee table or kitchen counter for a few weeks. No seriously, do it. They need to be paid, even if it’s a minimal amount. Just enough to stop that company’s credit recovery department from phoning.

If you can’t pay the bill, call the company it’s owed to. Explain your situation and ask for more time or set up a payment plan.

It’s better for you to call them, than for them to call you when the bill is overdue.

How to pay bills

When I was younger the only way to pay bills was to put a check in an envelope and mail it.

Then you’d have to put a lot of faith in the post office delivering the bill payment by the due date.

Yeah the check’s in the mail!

These days bills can still be paid by check, but most people use online banking or an app to pay bills electronically.

Some people set up automatic payments for the money to be withdrawn from their bank account. A caution about doing this. The money needs to be in your bank on the date the money is transferred out to the creditor.

If there is insufficient funds, your bank will probably decline the transfer and the utility company or insurance company will get a bounce back, and won’t be too happy.

Or your bank may decide to allow the transfer to go through because they can see you have a payday coming up. They’ll allow it to proceed, which will put your account into a negative position, and there may be a service fee charged.

A credit union is more likely to have staff who look at your account and decide whether or not to allow an automatic transfer to proceed. A bank is more likely to decline the charge as NSF.

Single women and paying bills

Keeping on top of bills and paying them on time is all part of becoming a financially savvy woman.

Ideally we want to eliminate as many bills as we can and avoid incurring any further debt. When we’re no longer dealing with paying bills such as credit card debt and car loans, then we can put that money towards our emergency funds, retirement, or having a little fun.

This is all part of our quest to become debt-free.

Financially savvy women posts

Here are the other posts in the financially savvy women series:

Read Part 1: Single Women and Banking

Read Part 2: Single Women and Choosing Basic Financial Services

Read Part 3: Single Women and Investing

Read Part 4: Single Women and Busting Debt

Published by Cheryl @ The Lifestyle Digs on February 20, 2022.

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