Too much of your finances depend on your credit score and report, and both of these depend on you paying your bills in a timely manner. So how can you make sure your bills are paid on time?
- Undercommit Yourself – Develop a mild allergy to contracts. You should get a little itchy whenever someone asks you to sign up for easy monthly anything. Keep your monthly commitments as low as possible, so you can easily afford them. Fewer bills also make fewer opportunities to miss a bill. Have breathing room in your budget (you have one of those, right? Right?!)
- Automate Everything – Get really friendly with your online bill pay, so friendly that online bill pay’s dad cleans the shotgun every time you visit her house. It’s usually fairly simple to schedule payments online or with the businesses with whom you do business.
- Don’t Expect Them to Do It Right – Now that you’ve automated everything, the temptation will be to let it work on its own. The problem is that sometimes payments will get goofed up. So, check your account on a fairly frequent basis to make sure your payments are going where they need to go. Also, don’t count on the company to bill you in a timely basis.
- Send Money Early – It’s very hard to send money too early. Some payments just can’t be automated, so make sure your payments are in plenty of time.
- Pay Attention – Funny how all these tips boil down to basic awareness. Your money is like kids: the more attention you give it, the better it will behave. If you quit paying attention, and things get quiet, you should get worried. Something’s up.
Keep those bills paid – your credit will thank you.