HOW TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR BILLS, CHECKS, MONEY; PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD FINANCE

How to Manage Your Bills, Checkbook and Credit Cards
Personal finance tips for simple management of your money, income and debt.
How to balance a checkbook and easily find mistakes. When to pay bills and avoid late fees, penalties and bad marks on your credit record. How to keep unplanned expenses from making you go into debt.
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2.0 HOW TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR BILLS, CHECKS, MONEY; PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD FINANCE

== Keep it simple.

When you get a bill, I recommend that you write on the envelope in big bold letters the following: How much is due; when it is due; when you need to mail the payment. I like to write this with a bold indelible black pen.

I have a desk with cubbyholes. I put the envelopes in one cubbyhole in the order that they must be paid (the mailing date).

I try to pay my bills just once a week, if possible. If I can lump the bill paying chore together, I concentrate better, make fewer mistakes, and take less time. If I pay one bill frantically one day and dash to the post office and then pay another bill two days later, I make mistakes.

I find that Monday is the ideal day for me to deal with my bills. I can look at any new bills that came in over the weekend and go through the bills I have already marked with the payment due date.

2.0.1 HOW TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR CHECKS

== Balance your checkbook soon after the statement arrives. The longer you wait the more numbers you will have to include and the more mistakes you will make.

== Tick off each check, charge and deposit.

Yes, accountants really do use check marks. Put one check mark on the statement and one in your check stubs for each amount that has gone through your bank.

== When you have "reconciled" your stubs with your bank statement, write that in your stubs.

I use one of the spaces normally used for a check entry, to put a huge arrow. Over the arrow I write, "reconciled with bank" and then the date. In the dollar column I put the balance that the bank and I agree on.

== If there is a discrepancy, indicate that in your stubs.

If you cannot balance your account and cannot find the error, make a note on your stubs that you say you have $X and the bank says you have $Y.

You might find the error later.

== Mark on the bank statement envelope, "Checked off" and then store where you can find it.

== Use a pencil.


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