Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday

I'm finally getting some routines underway--fill the gas tank on Sunday so I'm set for the week; Menu Planning Monday so I can shop once for the week; laundry on weekends with clothes put away...ok, so not all my routines are in place. But it's getting easier as time goes on.

This week's project: I have to get my bills straightened out. Once upon a time, I worked full time and got paid on the last workday of the month. I had all my bills due between the 10th and the 15th of the month so I could write my checks the first and second and get them in on time. Then I stopped working and my neat little system fell by the wayside despite my initial attempts to keep it in place.

Then I tried online banking. Theoretically, this should make it easier. But twice this year, some of my posts have worked and some have not. I'm sure I'm missing some easy thing, like closing a window without saving or sending or confirming or what have you, but I can't figure it out. So now my bills are a mess, and I really need to just take an hour or two this week to sit down with them and figure out what is going on. Who's paid. Who's not. Who's charging me interest. Who's overpaid (I hope no one!). And finally, now that I have the online banking thing set up again, I'll be able to make it work this time.

Online accountability did wonders for me for the org challenge. Here's hoping it works for these weekly projects too!


RuthWells said...

You're hitting me where I live with this one. My profession is finance, yet my personal financial housekeeping is somewhat on the fly. Internet banking has actually helped me a lot, but I still find it mortifying that I'm not more organized in my financial life.

brandy101 said...

I have never used online banking but I RARELY write a check. We have all our bills debit automatically to our checking acct. To do that, we call the cust svc of each bill (mortgage, utility, insurance, etc.) Some need to post to a credit card; in those cases we have a Visa check card that functions like an atm so we register the bill with that and it auto-deducts, as well. With this system, we have direct deposit for paychecks in to the bank account.

We never have a late payment because of our system and thus our credit rating is AWESOME and I'm not spending 41 cents per bill to mail anything!

4 years ago we began using Quicken; with one click, it downloads our bank activity, and we can also manually input what bills are coming up, checks we have written, etc. It also links to our credit card and we download that activity, as well.

The only "manual" online payment I have to make is to my credit card, but I use quicken to help me figure out how much I should pay per pay period (we pay it off every month, but usually pay more in one part of the month than the other).

I'd highly recommend using Quicken if your bank's website is compatible with it. [note: Some banks MAY charge you to direct-link to it but doing a download from their site and pasting it into quicken is often free. ]

Good luck with your organization!


Anjali said...

We do all our bills online bill pay -- but you're right, with some banks you have to confirm the payment, or it doesn't go through (we've been there). It can be tricky, and some banks aren't very good at explaining their system.

But, wow, once you get it, it's so nice.

Domestic Goddess said...

We used to use quicken, now we do everything online. EVERYTHING. WE love it, because it is so much easier. a couple of clicks and POOF. Done. Gone. Poor, once more. HA!

Ter said...

I have some online banking but you know what? I get so distracted by everything else (email, blogs, lol) that I tend to forget about banking. I was thinking today that I am going to have to come up with another system. I have my cheque book which I write all my debits and credits, but I have been using cc more and then paying that off at the end of the month, so I don't have so many transaction charges. But, again I fail to keep that up sometimes. Wondering if I should make a binder instead? hrm. thinking on it. let us know what you end up doing! :)