Organize and Declutter 2012: How To Organize Your Bills

Have you ever gotten a cancellation notice from your insurance company because you forgot to pay the bill?  Not only forgot to pay the bill, but couldn't even remember getting the bill?

Trust me, it's not a good feeling.  There may have been a little bit of extra stress in our home a few weeks ago.  Okay, a lot of stress.   So cleaning up the paper piles in our home is now considered top priority and is next on my list of organizing and decluttering projects for this year.  {You can find all of the projects I have completed here.}

This binder idea is originally from Laura at Happy Canadian Home.  I love this idea and knew right away that organizing our bills in a binder would work well for our family.  

3-ring binder
page dividers
3-hole punch

1.  Open the bills as soon as you get them.  Don't leave unopened bills on a counter or table.  They will get lost and after a few weeks you may not even remember getting it. 

2.  After you open the bills, write them on the calendar under the date they are due.    There are many, many, many free printable calendars online.  I printed this one and put it in the front of the binder.  

3.  Put the unpaid bills in a folder labeled "unpaid bills."  Since we still pay our bills the old-fashioned way, I use a paper clip to keep the bill and mailing envelope together.

4.  After the bill has been paid, punch holes in the bill with the hole punch and file it in the correct section in the back of the binder.

Keeping our bills organized this way has already made such a big difference in my life.  I can now sit down at the beginning and the end of the month and see at a glance which bills are coming due.  Since the bills are all together in one place, I no longer waste time sorting through paper in order to find all the bills for the month.

The binder is also a great place to keep a budget, receipts and rebate forms and information.  I have also added birthdays and important holidays to remember {such as father's day} on the calendar so that when I check for bills that are due, I also get a reminder about other important dates that I want to remember.

What system do you use to organize your bills?

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Walking on Sunshine... said...

I do something very similar to this only I use a folder, not a notebook! Enjoying your tips!

Cheryl said...

Oh, that sounds like a very efficient system...I just love getting organized! Paying the bills is my husband's forte though. When I did it for a time, I messed it all up. Maybe if I had had your system... :D

Thanks for visiting me at Thinking About Home. Good luck with your casserole dish!

Tim, Allyson, and kids said...

We use the filing cabinet drawer in our desk, but I love your compact version. (I'm going to show it to hubby since bill paying is his thing.)

Kelley @ said...

I sooo need to do this! I just use a spreadsheet.. which sometimes I forget about. Thanks for the great idea!

If you get a chance make sure to enter the week of giveaways I have going on now :)

Vanessa said...

Allyson, I can see how a filing drawer would work well too and is similar to using a binder. Since we don't have the extra room for an office space right now, I love how small the binder version is.

Nicole said...

I have been looking for a way to incorporate our "bill schedule" into our Home Management Binder and this system you have is *perfect!* I am so excited to get things rolling and create this! :P

Vanessa said...

Nicole, I think this system would work well in a home management binder. I'm planning on adding this to a home management binder once I get organized enough to make one. :)

4you-withlove said...

This system is awesome! I NEEDED to see this post so bad! I love all your info on your blog...amazing! I'm following you on GFC. If you have a moment, I'd love for you to come visit my blog! I hope you have an amazing weekend!


Kimberlee said...

That is a great idea! Would take a lot less space than my bill slot thingy. May have to give this a try! Would love to have you come link-up at Finished it Friday! Have a fabulous weekend!
~Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva

Alison @ Oopsey Daisy said...

What a fantastic system! I so admire you for setting this up. Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!

Jill @Two Yellow Birds Decor said...

This is a great idea! I love it! It's a very good way to keep track of it all!! Thanks for sharing this as well at Thursday's Temptation.

Chatty Chics said...

So organized! Love it! It's an easy, no brainer way of handling those pesky bills! :)

Trish - Mom On Timeout said...

You are so organized - great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

Katy LaRoo said...

I do something very similar but online. I have a Google Calendar just for bills; I have the bill due dates reoccurring on the same date every month, then file the online verification I paid it in a corresponding email file.

Vanessa said...

Katy, thanks for sharing your organizing tips for your paperless system! I personally like having a hard copy of my bills, but I know that many people do prefer to go paperless. Thanks for sharing.

Alvin Christ said...
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Markisha Williams said...

So much better than the accordion file folder. Thank you!