Managing bills is one of those things no one wants to do but we all have to do, no matter how long it can take. If you’re finding paying your bills takes up more of your time than you’d like and you need a better overview of your expenses, there are a few strategies that could help. Try these strategies for effective expense management and it could just be the helping hand you need to stay on top of your bills.
Check your bank accounts
When you have one expense after another, it can be easy to lose track of how much money is coming and going from your bank accounts. One way to ensure you’re effectively managing your expenses is to regularly check your bank accounts1. This will give you oversight into your spending habits and ensure you can accurately track your expenses. Plus, you’ll have a clearer idea of any bills you have already scheduled to be paid through direct debit1.
You may find that you’re regularly spending money on the same types of expenses or bills. Categorising your expenses and bills can help you become more aware of how frequently you’re spending money on certain items1. You may also find that categorising your expenses allows you to identify areas where you can start cutting back and saving money. It also shows you which expenses are fixed and which are variable1. For example, utilities bills are fixed expenses as they come at regular intervals and you have to pay a certain amount of money for them. On the other hand, variable expenses are those you have some control over and tend to fluctuate, such as groceries. One way to accurately record and categorise all of your expenses for efficient management is to consider using a spreadsheet or budgeting program1.
Prioritise due dates for bills
If you’re in the position where you have multiple bills due and can’t afford to pay them all at once, consider prioritising certain bills based on their deadlines2. A good way to do this is by laying out all of your bills, taking note of each due date and planning a timeline working backwards from the due dates2. Where possible, you may also like to consider aligning your bill paying timeline with the dates you generally get paid. Make sure you keep your timeline updated!
Create a billing schedule
If you’re one of those people who tends to procrastinate paying bills, you could benefit from setting a billing schedule for yourself. Select a specific day and time when you will pay your bills and set yourself a reminder or record it somewhere so you don’t forget3. This keeps you accountable of sticking to the billing schedule you’ve established for yourself and means you’re less likely to forget about paying your bills. Before you know it, this could become a habit and you may not even need to remind yourself it’s bill-paying time!
Learn your billing cycle
Have you ever felt blindsided by your bills? It happens, especially because there are many things we all juggle in our daily lives. To help you become more efficient at managing bills, consider actively recording your billing cycles so you’re prepared the next time a bill arrives3. You might even like to add this to your billing schedule! Whatever you decide to do, having some foresight into when your bills are likely to arrive can help you pre-plan and ensure you factor this into your expenses for that period of time3.
Try Queensland Country Bank’s SmartBudget account
If you’re looking for a way to ease the stress of paying bills and have some oversight into which bills are already taken care of, Queensland Country Bank’s SmartBudget account could help. Designed so that your nominated bills are all paid out of the one account and paid on time, SmartBudget allows you to select which bills you would like paid from your account automatically*.
*Terms and conditions of Queensland Country Bank’s SmartBudget account apply. View the relevant TMD available at queenslandcountry.bank. Normal lending criteria, terms, conditions and fees apply and are available on request.
General Advice Warning: This information is intended to be general in nature and is not personal financial advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided. In particular, you should seek independent financial advice.
1NerdWallet, 2023, How to track monthly expenses in 6 steps, https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/finance/tracking-monthly-expenses
2Andrea Woroch, 2020, 7-step guide to managing your bills, The Middletown Press, https://www.middletownpress.com/business/moneytips/article/7-Step-Guide-To-Managing-Your-Bills-15370379.php#tbl-em-lnwnjbc6y5wilw7xazi
3Erik Haagensen, 2021, Procrastinator’s guide to bill payment, Investopedia, https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/stop-paying-bills-late.asp