Organize your space: If you know where your bills are, you can get to them when you need to pay them. When your mail is delivered, file it accordingly rather than let it pile up into unmanageable mountains. Bills that lay scattered from den to bedroom or are piled on the kitchen counter are far less likely to get paid on time, and late bills cost money. Set up a routine that works for you that includes immediately trashing what needs to be trashed while filing the bills that need to be paid.
Be on time: Late fees are the fastest way to owe more than you should. Take the time to note when the cable bill is due, or whether you should pay your cell phone bill this week or hold off until next week. Rather than pay bills when you have the time, schedule time to get it done a few times during the month. Your bills aren’t all due on the same day, so you don’t have to pay everything all at once. Spread them out so you pay them when you have the cash, but make sure you pay them on time.
Pay attention to the low-rate credit card bait: You signed up for that credit card three years ago because the interest rate was low, but have you looked to see what the rate is now? Keep your eyes on the fine print inside your statements, and if you find your rate has increased call the credit card provider and ask if they will lower it. They might not, but you won’t know until you ask.
Automate: Maybe you stayed away from automatic payments in the past for fear you might not have the funds to cover your purchases if your bills are already deducted. But automatic payments help you stay on top of those payments which must be made. Set up e-mail alerts so you know when bills will be paid, allowing you to know what’s being withdrawn and when. Take advantage of an automatic transfer into a savings account each month, and grow that otherwise dormant account into something of substance over time.
Consider overdraft protection: Overdraft fees can murder your balance. If your bank offers overdraft protection, consider signing up. You could be saving yourself fees on top of fees on top of more fees.