How to Organize Bills

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It’s safe to say that no one enjoys paying the bills, but having a solid system for tackling this task—as shown in this video—can take at least some of the sting out of it. Here’s how to keep bills organized both before and after you pay them.

What You Need

  • 13-pocket accordion file, paper shredder, bills, vertical letter rack
  1. Sort and corral unpaid bills

    Designate a box, basket, or folder specifically for bills. As soon as the mail comes, separate the bills from everything else and open them, throwing away the outer envelope and any inserts. Corral them in your designated spot until you’re ready to pay them. <br /><br />

    <b>Tip:</b> Instead of keeping bills in an office file, use a letter rack. As you open mail, stash the bills in order of their due dates. This way, you’ll have a visual reminder that they’re waiting to be paid.

  2. File paid bills in an accordion file

    Label a 13-pocket accordion file with tabs for each month of the year. Reserve the last slot for the year’s tax return. As you pay your monthly bills, file them under the appropriate month. Add bank statements and credit card receipts. When you complete your tax return, drop that in, too. <br /><br />

    <b>Aha!</b> To streamline your bill-paying process, find out whether your bank offers online banking and whether your utility and service companies offer online and automated payment options.