If you're late paying a bill, you'll pay dearly for your tardiness. Here's how to avoid late fees by letting someone else worry about reminding you.
The following post comes from Jeff Rose at partner site Good Financial Cents.
My wife is the queen of paying our bills on time – she refuses to let a bill go unpaid or pay a silly late fee. She doesn’t need an app on her iPhone to remind her when a bill needs to be paid. She just uses a simple single sheet of paper pinned up next to our home computer. She definitely completes me.
For those who need more than a single sheet a paper, I’ve asked my wife Miranda to share some neat ways to set up a bill reminder so that you never pay another late bill again…
Whether you pay your bills using the old checkbook method or you get online and make your payments, sometimes it’s easy to forget when it’s time to send your money. If you want to make sure you’re up-to-date on all of your accounts, and that you don’t forget to send a payment, you can set up bill reminders to help you along.
There are a number of different financial applications that allow you to set up bill reminders. Some of them can be set up in your personal finance software, and others are more general. Here are some of the more popular ways to set up reminders for bill pay:
- Google calendar: This is an almost universal way to remind yourself that a bill is due. Go into your Google Calendar and arrange to have a reminder pop up (or be emailed to you) on the day you want to pay your bill. Enter the details, including the name of the payment, and who you’re making the payment to. Schedule it for “all day,” and you’re set. You’ll get the reminder as you’re checking your email – or even on your phone if your phone is set to alert you in these cases.
- Mint: You can receive bill reminders right to your phone or email if you use Mint.com. This is the premier online personal finance budget tool, and it’s possible for you to schedule bill pay reminders. Just go into Mint and “Add a reminder.” Mint also suggests that you set up reminders based on your transactions, so you can set reminders to recur every month.
- Manilla: One of the latest financial management tools to hit the Web is Manilla, and this application also features bill reminders. You can have reminders pop up on your phone if you are using the mobile app, or you can receive them via text message or email. Reminders are customizable so that it’s easy to view them the way you want.
- What Bills?: This Web-based bill reminder service sends email notifications to help you keep up with when things are due. You can also keep up with what you have already paid with What Bills?, so that you have access to completed transactions.
Plenty of other services offer bill reminders. You can get them in Quicken, YNAB, and other major financial software applications. However, some of the notifications only pop up when you open the application, so double check to make sure you receive email, text, or mobile app notifications.
Of course, you can reduce your need for bill reminders by automating some of your bill payments. Some bills, especially recurring bills, can easily be managed by simply having an automatic debit set up so that the money is taken from your account each month. You don’t have to worry about forgetting when the bill pay pays itself.