Paying the Bills

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When it comes to paying household bills, these days I pay everything online. The nice thing about online payments is being able to schedule when a payment is made. When I received my semi-annual car insurance bill recently, I saw there was an option on the insurance company’s website to make a partial payment. This allowed me to spread the payment over two credit card billing periods. By spreading payments out, you have fewer months with a large credit card payment due. You don’t save any money, but if you are on a fixed income, this makes it a little easier to budget expenses. A while back I changed my home owners insurance to a monthly payment. The charge is automatically added to my credit card each month. I just look at the annual bill when it arrives to make sure they didn’t decide to raise the premium. Another tip is to be aware of the monthly closing date on your credit card. I usually allocate about $60 in miscellaneous expenses each month. These are items I need to maintain the car or make household repairs, but are not urgently needed. If I used my allocation for the month, I just make a mental note to order the items I need after the closing date, so that the expense appears on the next credit card bill. When I was getting a biweekly paycheck, I didn’t worry about such things. Now that I’m living off of my savings and investments, I need to avoid large bills as much as possible. Having predictable monthly bills is the first step to managing your budget. I have become very cautious about wasting money. Lost money means I have less to use as a tool to make more money.

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