11.27.2010

Bill Organizing

What I want to be doing is sharing with you some of my "Christmas-y" Delightful Order.  But, before I do and since my last post was on my mail organizer,  I'm going to show you, real quick, how I organize my bills

I have found, that for me, this is the best method on Organizing Bills:
The first thing that happens in my bill paying process is the mail gets put into the  incoming mail folder of my mail organizer.
I have three filing systems for my bill paying & mail organizing:
1. Immediate Daily Filing
2. Intermediate Filing
3. Archival Filing
 This is my Immediate Daily Filing System   
I found this great expandable folder at Target & have set it up like so:
I open the mail (standing over the garbage can, for  all "the junk mail") and sort the mail/bills into these dividers as labeled.   I print the online payment reminders and file in here as well.
 About 2x a month I pay the bills.

I have set up a report in Microsoft Excel to help me  track the bills due each month,  as some are paid online & some I don't receive statements for etc.   This spreadsheet works great for me -  I can see what's due and when it's due.
I attach all paper bills behind the spreadsheet, with a paperclip, file in my Bills Due this Month file (in the expandable file) and when it comes time to pay the bills this is the sheet I go off from.

When I actually sit down to pay the bills (2x month) I use  Quicken Home & Business  to track it all in my computer.   Quicken is awesome, I highly recommend it and with Quicken, you can set up reports similar to this one. I just choose to use the above report.

Once I've made payment, I write "paid, the check # & the date" on the statement and file in a file drawer at my kitchen command center located in my kitchen.
  This is my Intermediate Filing System
 
Once a year, I go through this file drawer, clearing it for the new year, shredding what does not need to be archived, and filing all the important files (ie. mortgage, etc) into my   Archival Filing System, which are paper file boxes, stored elsewhere in my home.

That's my way of organizing, tracking and paying my bills.

* UPDATE* I've changed my bill paying a little.  I now use my All-In-One family planner. The way that I pay the bills continues to be the same.  I've just changed to a binder and added a few more things to it.
 Read all about it HERE.
:)

11 comments:

  1. I like being organized too. I also put the date, check # or which credit card was used on the statement before filing the hard copy. Great idea about using the expandable file and Quicken.

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  2. Oh, I love the spreadsheet idea! I am going to incorporate that into my own system. Thanks!

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  3. I think that's a great idea! Love the pink filing folder. :-)

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  4. Wow. This is the best idea I've seen online so far. I tried making one like this before, but didn't work for me 'coz I was just able to put a few binders. But I'll give this a try again. Maybe I can add an extra divider for my payday loans. Hehe!

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  5. I love the system and is going to try it but i do have a qustion if you can answer it please, how did you print out the labels and get them so perfect for your pink filing binder?

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  6. I typed the words in microsoft word, leaving enough space between, added a box around them, printed them, cut them out and inserted them into the little space. Hope this helps.
    DaNita

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  7. you are just awesome! I am truly so happy today that I found your blog through a link up party and I am in AWE of your organization skills!
    thank you for all the great posts!
    Jess~ your new follower/subscriber

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  8. Everything on this website is amazing. It's like reading a fairytale.
    On your Intermediate Filing System, do you keep all of the monthly information together or do you then separate by item/ category (Utility Bills, CC Bills, etc)? Also, what do you keep "forever" in your archive filing system? Should we really keep the June 1999 Telephone bill?
    Thank you so much - I am so thankful to have stumbled upon your site.
    ~Katrina

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  9. Hi Katrina!

    Thanks. I am happy to know that you enjoy my blog.

    To answer your question on my intermediate filing: I categorize the files alphabetically. For instance: In the front of my filing cabinet, I have a section for bills, which are broken down in alphabetical order, like so: insurance: home, insurance: health, insurance: vehicle, mortgage, miscellaneous, phone: home, phone: cell, pud, school bills, vehicle payment, etc.

    As far as what to keep forever. I'm not positive what the "rules are." Of course, mortgage payments, etc. you have to keep longer than you would utility bills, etc.

    This is one thing that I would like to look more into. Hopefully someday I will be able to share more on this.

    If there is anyone out there that knows the rules, feel free to comment here, so that we can all benefit.

    Thanks,
    DaNita

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  10. Ours systems are very similar, but you make it look beautiful. I think I look more like the comic character Kathy! I am going to keep reading here to see if I can copy some of that finesse.;-D Thank you for the work you do in sharing this blog.
    My system eliminates the intermediate filing. This works because I have no home business. Works for us & perhaps will help another. I have a wall organizer for incoming & outgoing. When the mail comes I toss junk. Bills, etc. go in the incoming slot onopened. Actually my husband does this. I only look at the mail once a week on Monday's.
    We are paid twice a month. On off Mondays I open the mail & toss the filler. Bills are checked to see that all is normal an returned to the organizer slot. Any calls to be made are noted on my weekly planner and anything that needs to be kept but not paid out (bank statements) is filed in the 13 slot folder. ~ this takes 10 min.tops.
    On pay day weeks, I do the same plus two more steps. Second, I take my home organizer (the bills section holds 12 copies of my budget spreadsheet in 1 plastic sheet protector. The current month in front and the previous month facing outward in back.) The spreadsheet has spaces for all areas money is spent as well as spaces for areas we are trying to save. On the first payweek I fill in actual amounts of bills and allocate the remainder of dollars. (the estimated dollar amounts were penciled in the previous month.)On the second payweek I fill in the estimates for the coming month (We set our actual budget at the end of the previous year. monthly sheets just keeps us on track.) My husband checks it over & OKs' it or points out a mistake or better allocation and returns pages to sheet protector. Teamwork ;-)
    Finally, I pay the bills and like you write date & check# on statement. Any bills not to be paid yet are returned to incoming slot. (If I had space for a third slot they would go there to reduce handling) Paid bills go in the 13 slot organizer. (This has enough slots for each bill category for us) ~ Steps 1-3 take about one hour at most.

    At end of each year I use statements to set budget for coming year, print my 12 new spreadsheets and buy a new 13 slot folder. I can usually find them for $3-$5.~ Thirty minutes to set up.
    When taxes have been filed at beginning of new year I take the entire old folder mark the front with year and put in a box in storage. ~ 2 minutes!
    I know I am storing extra papers that I don't need, but it has been five years and it all fits in one file box. The time saved not sorting or shredding is worth storing. I believe some papers must be saved for ten years, so in another 3 or 4 years I will check into the "rules" and make changes then if need be. :-)

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  11. I also use a system very much like this (including the Excel) and our savings has increased quite a bit because of this... The worst thing for me was that I never wanted to get rid of things after they were paid (for fear that for some reason somebody would tell me I didn't pay). Recently, I found an internet (secure) free filing cabinet system (that you can use for any type of document... bills, warranties, even thesis and dissertation drafts). It's www.doxo.com. It's wonderful. Now I have less paper clutter and more space in my filing cabinet.

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