They weren’t exactly forgotten, but unpaid all the same.
Our habit for doing our budget and paying bills consists of throwing everything in a pile and then sorting through the file when we sit down to enter all the data for our budget into the spreadsheet. One of the first things we do is go through and find the unpaid bills and pay them. When we sat down to do budget last night, we found our mistake. One of the bills was sitting at the bottom of the pile. Not a big deal, until you consider that we hadn’t been doing very well on regular budget checks and the due date for the bill had come and gone already. Ouch. To make matters worse, it was a credit card, so we’ll see what kind of late fees and default rates we end up with next month.
Lesson learned. From now on, we’ll be paying bills as they come in instead of letting them wait until we do our budget work. The other thing that I’ve been contemplating is to set most everything up on automatic payment systems. I’ve been super hesitant to do this before because part of our financial history is a history of not having the money to pay our bills. So, my fear has always been that if they come out automatically, the money won’ t be there, or the money won’t be there later on to pay for something more important. Now that we’ve taken on budgeting and a much higher control over our money, that really isn’t a valid fear anymore and we could probably set up some automatic payments.
How do you all do it? Pay as they come in? Automatic deductions? Or do you pay them at a set day or event?