Budget Makeover: Organizing Bills


If you’re reading this today I’m assuming you’ve been convinced you need to start a budget and are going to give it a try.  Hooray for you!  You’ll be glad you did.  I’m going to take you through the process in baby steps so it won’t be overwhelming.  Also, there are many ways to do budgeting that work, I am just showing you what we do in our family and hopefully explain why it works for us.  You can follow ours exactly, simply use it as a loose guide, or do something totally different.  The key is to finding what fits with your family and lifestyle.

We’re going to start with bills, because when you get paid, the first thing you need to take care of is paying the bills.  You can do without new clothes and dining out, but I think we would all rather not do without electricity or running water.  As a family, we make sure all our needs are taken care of first and then we’re able to see how much money we get to play around with!

Game Plan:

1.  If you don’t do online banking already, I highly suggest you start because it makes paying bills painless and it is easy to keep track and go back and see what you’ve been paying monthly.

2. Figure out all your monthly bills and payments and write them down with the amounts.

This includes electric, water, gas, insurance, etc.  If you get billed, write it down!

organize your bills

3.  If you have any bills that are not levelized or not equal amounts every month, I suggest trying to get them levelized because it makes budgeting much easier.

4. If you have any bills that come over the course of several months, put them in a separate list with the amount and then divide it by the amount of months.

We get billed every three months for our trash pick-up for $57.  Since it is every 3 months, I divide $57 by 3 and get a monthly payment of $19.

5.  Look over your list and make sure there’s nothing you can do without.  Perhaps you can go with a cheaper cell phone plan, etc.

6.  Add up all the costs in both lists to get total dollar amounts for your bills.

Hang on to your lists and tomorrow we will work on figuring out monthly costs.

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