Have you ever realized you had a bill sitting around that was due today?
Or worse, yesterday?
If you are lucky you can pay the bill online but that’s not always an option (I’ve found that some companies have a cut-off time).
There was a time when I had a lot of credit card debt. Digging out of it was tough but what made it harder was paying late fees because I would miss the credit card due date by a few days or so.
There is just about nothing more frustrating than looking through your bills and realizing one was already past due!
I definitely needed a bill/pay calendar system that would work for me!
Keep reading and I’ll tell you about a few systems I’ve used to pay bills on time including how to set up one of my favorites — Google Calendar.
How to Set Up Google Calendar Reminders to Pay Your Bills on Time
So how can we avoid paying bills late?
You can pay the bill immediately. But if you are like me you would rather keep the money in savings for as along as possible or you budget in such a way that certain bills get paid with different paychecks.
You can write the date you need to pay the bill on the envelope.
I do this. Usually this works great. Problems occur when you don’t notice the date or forget to keep up with the bill. Or the envelope gets mixed up with other mail and junk and when you find it it’s already late. That happens to me too!
What’s another fail safe you can use?
I’ve been experimenting with Google Calendar to set up reminders to pay my bills on time!
When I get a bill I open it up and check out the due date. I then determine when I have to actually pay the bill to make sure I meet the due date. For example: If I have to mail a bill I give myself about a week. For online bills I pad about 5 or 6 days before the due date.* If I need to transfer money I give myself about a week too to make sure the money gets transferred over (I keep my savings in my Capital One 360 Savings account).
*Yup, I give myself 5 or 6 days for online bills. Why? Because even though I know I should pay it on the date I have set I still end up procrastinating. Hey, you have to know your weaknesses sometimes and figure out ways to trick yourself around them.
Next I write that date I figured out on the bill. That’s one fail safe.
The real useful fail safe is Google Calendar.
I take my bill and log onto my account, go to the day I need to pay the bill by, and write in a reminder that gets emailed to me when it comes up. Since my cell gets email it’s like an extra reminder since it’s on my phone and my computer!
I don’t have to always log into my calendar. Some bills, like my mortgage or car payment, are due the same time of the month every month. When I set the date up in Google Calendar so it repeats monthly. Set it and forget it (well, until the bill is due).
Let me show you how I set up Google Calendar as my Bill/Pay Calendar:
Log onto your Google Calendar and open up the month for your bill due date:
Click on the day you need to pay your bill on, enter the bill name, and hit “edit event details”:
Enter the details (date; what the bill is; whatever you need). If you’re done hit ‘SAVE’ but you might want a couple of more options (You can always go in and edit):
Here’s an important part – Click ‘Add a Reminder.’ Set the reminder to Email (this will send you an email reminder). You can also set up a reminder to send you a text:
Viola! You’ve now setup a reminder in Google Calendar to remind you when to pay your bill!
So far this has worked really great for me.
The key to this is to make sure your enter you bill in GCal when you get it. I’ve used this to remind me about car payments, the mortgage, and credit card due dates.
A Note About Other Apps and Options
Of course Google Calendar isn’t the only online calendar you can use. I think it’s a popular one that many other apps integrate and it happens to be the one that I use. If you have another calendar app that works similarly then by all means use it (and mention in the comments so other people know to use it).
Lately I’ve been using the calendar app Sunrise on my iPhone (they also released a desktop version). It’s super easy to use and I like the interface more than GCal’s. What makes it sweet for me is that anything you enter into Sunrise will also hit your GCal.
There are a number of to-do apps that integrate nicely with Google Calendar as well. I used to use Any.Do and its related app Cal. You can set up due dates that will show up in Google Calendar. I switched to the project management app Asana because it was a little more robust in its features. Asana also integrates nicely with Sunrise so any due dates I set up will show in Sunrise (and in turn will show in Google Calendar).
Other options include your bank and credit card software. I like to be extra careful so I set up reminders with my credit card company as well as my bank. Sometimes I need to be hit over the head a bunch of times to get something done but it works for me.
How do you keep track of your bill’s due dates?
Additional resources to help with your budget and pay bills: