Putting Your Bills On "Auto Pilot"
For most of my life, I've struggled to keep track of things, especially my to-do list. Then, as an adult, I was diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), which explained a lot of the challenges that I had dealt with throughout my life. However, a diagnosis like that doesn't solve the problem, it only helps to define it.
One lesson I learned the hard way was, when it comes to paying your bills on time, ADHD does not pass as an excuse to your debtors.
So, I devised a financial system that put an end to my late payments while also preventing me from overspending – I put it all on auto pilot!
This is how my system works.
- First, I added up my monthly expenses: mortgage, insurance, utilities, groceries, etc.
- Next, I divided that sum between my paychecks. By knowing this amount, I was able to put the necessary funds into a separate checking account each time I received my direct deposit.
- Anything leftover goes into my "personal" checking account, and anything in that personal account, I'm free to spend – with the knowledge and peace of mind that I'll still have the funds to cover my bills.
Great idea, right? Well, I took it a step further.
- Using payment options in online banking, I set every bill to be auto-paid from that separate checking account. Thanks to my automated budgeting, there's always the right amount of money in the account to cover my bills and every bill gets paid on time. Best of all, I don't have to remember a thing!
Ok, that last statement isn't completely true. You do need to remember to review your monthly expenses on a regular basis, to make sure you're still putting aside enough funds each month. Bill amounts can change – especially things like electricity and gas – and you're likely to add new expenses or pay off your loans eventually, so it's important to check in with those figures and make necessary adjustments.
This system may not work for everyone, but for those of you like me, who struggle to keep track of payments and overspending, I've found this is an easy way to both budget and keep on top of paying your bills, with very little effort.
Give it a try and see if it works for you!