You know how your credit card bill is due 25 days after the cut-off of the billing period? Or your cable or cell phone bill is due a few weeks after it arrives in the mail? Some people then think “Oh, I’ll pay it later” and put off paying the bill until it’s past due. With all of the different bills that I have (credit cards, cable, cell phone, rent, electricity), trying to keep track of all of the due dates is annoying.
My solution? Pay the bill immediately when I receive it. Since the balance in my checking account covers all of my regular bills, variable expenses, and has a nice buffer, I know that there is always the money to pay the bill.
For credit card accounts, this helps to keep the balance lower since I never use more than 10-20% of the credit limit before the billing period is over and then as soon as the statement amount is displayed in the online banking, I make a payment as of that day for the full balance. This also helps me to feel like the amount billed on the credit cards is far more manageable since I don’t charge very much on each card every month.
I also read *every* statement. My cable provider often increases the bill slightly every few months and sometimes there are random small annoyances on my cell phone bill as well. By getting the latest 6-month promotion and buying my own cable modem (used and cheap), I’ve reduced my cable and internet bill down to only about $50 per month, which is pretty good.
Readers, how do you go about paying your bills? Do you pay them right away like I do or do you wait until the very end of the grace period?