How to Pay Monthly Bills on Time

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Do you struggle with due dates? You’re not alone. Many people have difficulty paying their bills on time. The truth is that you can pay your bills on time with just a few tweaks to your budget and life. How so? Let’s start by exploring some reasons you might be late on your bills.

Top 3 Reasons You Might Be Late On Your Bills

Okay, here are some of the reasons that so many people are late on their bills. Do they sound familiar to you?

  1. You don’t have enough money in your checking account and are waiting until payday. Juggling paydays with bill due dates rarely works. There’s got to be a better way! We’ll address how to solve this problem a bit later.
  2. You simply forgot that you had a bill due. Paper bills get lost on your desk. eBills (electronic bills) are somewhere in your email box, but you don’t have a clue where to find it. You get the idea!
  3. Your spouse forgot to pay the bill. That’s their fault, right? Hmmm, we’ll have to talk about this one.

Looking through these top reasons you might be late on your payments, can you think of any solutions? Are they in or out of your control? Let’s explore each of these in more detail.

How To Pay On Time

Here are the meat and potatoes of how to pay your bills on time:

  • Spend this month’s income next month. This is one of the best ways to ensure your checking account is always nice and plump, able to handle any regular bill that comes its way. No longer will you have to wait for payday to occur before you pay your bills. Why? You’ll already have a month’s worth of income in your checking account ready to be spent. Not only that, you’ll feel a tremendous amount of peace knowing that you won’t overdraft your account. Bonus! This is a key principle of how to make a budget.
  • Use a to-do list or tracker. If you often forget to pay your bills, that means you aren’t being notified that you have a bill due or that you aren’t filing the bill properly in a system to help remind you. For paper bills, simply write on the envelope the amount due and the due date. Keep paper bills in plain sight where you regularly work. For eBills, use a tracker such as ToDoIst.com (free version available) to remind you when you have a bill coming up. If you’re a Mac nerd like myself, you might consider Things for Mac. You can also use your to-do list tracker for paper bills, if that makes life easier for you!
  • Pay your incoming bills as soon as possible. This is perhaps the best way to ensure you don’t forget – don’t procrastinate! Once you have gotten to a point where you can spend this month’s income next month, paying your bills immediately will become a cinch!
  • Communicate with your spouse frequently about the finances. Your spouse might not have a system in place to always remember to pay the bills. If they pay the bills in your household, ask them how in the world they remember to do so! You might be surprised at the system they use. Or, you might discover that they struggle with it. Bring them to this article and walk them through how to pay the bills on time – in a loving way, of course.
  • Use a service like Manilla. Manilla is a free online tool that helps you organize and manage all your bill payments so you never forget any and are always on time!

There you have it! Paying your bills on time requires a few tweaks here and there, but you can do it! If you don’t immediately get to the point where you can pay your bills on time, pick yourself up and keep trying. Never give up!

How do you manage your bills? Do you have any tricks we can learn from you?

Photo By Jörg Weingrill
















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7 Comments
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  1. We have all of our bills set for automatic payment. It really helps making sure bills are paid on time. We have not had any problems with companies taking more than they should. With this method though it is important to monitor your checking and credit card bills to make sure everything looks ok each month and that bills are being paid. I agree it is important to communicate to your spouse so everyone is on the same page with finances.

  2. On a side note: while it’s always ideal to be far enough ahead in the game to never pay late fees, we all know that this isn’t always possible in the real world. So, sometimes when funds are a little too tight – it’s best to know which monthly bills will incur the highest late fees (some utilities charge a big late fee, while others might charge less than a buck). Pay the big late fee bills first.

  3. My favorite way to avoid forgetting about bills is to arrange to have them paid automatically from my checking account. This can be done a couple of ways: most places will let you pay your bill automatically right through their website; and, most banks now offer an automatic bill payment service that allows you to schedule payments through them. With this method, the bank either sends an electronic payment or prints out a check and mails it on your behalf, and you don’t even have to pay for the stamp.

  4. This is a good article in the sense that it lists some alternatives to paying your bills on time. I also believe that having the money to pay your bills on time stems from many things such as food costs for the family, transportation costs, entertainment costs etc… Anyone can improvise when it comes to these costs and find alternative solutions enabling more money to be inside their bank account for their monthly bills.

  5. I set one night a week to pay bills. I don’t have many because most of my bills are auto pay. Also most of the money I spend is on the Credit card. I like the cash back aspect. Never carry a balance on your credit card.

  6. One of the most important things we work with our clients on is the use of an allocated spending sheet along with there monthly budget or cash flow plan. Sitting down with a calender and figuring out when the money is coming in and what bills are being paid out of each paycheck is a key to getting things paid on time and achieving financial freedom. It sounds basic and it really is but you would be amazed at how many people don’t do it.

  7. Sammy Holly

    I make sure that the auto payments are after paydays…which is no easy feat. I can do everything from my phone as well. At the same time I actually got rid of bills by cutting the cable and my doing a prepaid cell phone service, Net10, where you can pay for a year and never have to worry about it.

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