Posted in budget, Debt management, finances, Payday

Auto bill pay or calendar reminders to pay?

It’s a relaxing Saturday, a small breeze (here in Hawaii we call it trade winds), it’s a mostly cloudy day (mainly due to that fabulous disruption in our beautiful weather that’s causing high temps and tons of humidity), and I’m sitting in our back porch. With nothing else better to do, I asked Siri, “How many seashells does she sell by the seashore?” A list of websites pop up. Then I asked Siri, “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” Response? “Haven’t you got anything better to do?”

As a matter of fact, “Siri, is there anything I should be doing today?” And Siri’s immediate response is to show me my calendar:

  
All the yellow items are books I was planning to be reading but I’m super behind. Green items are bills that are due. “CareCredit?!” I asked out loud to the coconut tree in front of me. Whoa! I’m so glad I added that reminder in my phone! I’m on a mission to avoid bank and credit card fees the rest of the year. I think the bank got enough of my money the first half of the year!

Phew! I was able to get that payment scheduled without any snafus. Now I’m curious if I have anything else due that I failed to input into my calendar. I would mess up like that!

There are some bills on autopay, like tithing, Compassion International, and the electric bill. It means I need to be much more aware of what I spend on due to the need to have enough funds to pay the autopay items. It forces me to be more aware of what’s going on. 

In my current employment, we get paid every other Friday. It has its benefits, but managing for the month by dividing up the bills makes the bill paying much easier. I’m so thankful that I do it all via phone these days. Life is so much more convenient. Maybe too convenient?

My main question is: Auto bill pay or calendar reminders to pay? Which is better? I suppose it all depends on your needs and your bills. Unfortunately I allowed my bills to get out of control, so trying to spend less so I can pay off credit cards is proving more difficult that I imagined.

How do YOU manage your bill payments?

Its a mostly cloudy day
Posted in budget, Debt management, finances, Payday

Bill is past due

Have you ever had a bill to pay and you plan for it, payday is coming, the bill is due that day so you’re prepared for it, then all of a sudden it’s two days after the due date and now your bill looks impossible?

That’s where I’m sitting at this very moment. Normally I split my car note in half and pay half each paycheck (I get paid every mother week). So normally, that works out just fine. But for some reason I put it off last week and the note was due last Tuesday. 

Today when I look at my bill it’s already scheduled for next months payment and whatever I was supposed to pay last week and the late fee have been included. Hmmm, yay. So unnecessary fees again. Great, way to start the second half of the year that I told myself in on a budget. Seriously? 

Wait, there’s 2 more paydays before the bills is due. I should break it into thirds. That will give me more to split for other bills, right? And still make it? Hmmm, there’s got to be a better way to arrange my finances. Why is it all so confusing?

Now that I’ve gotten that figured out, let me go back to that payment and reconfigure! Y’all are wonderful, thank you for helping me get through that. I was in a small panic there!

As you were 😉

Posted in budget, Debt management, finances, Payday

My bank is broken

My 6-year old often refers to my bank as “broken”. It’s his interpretation for “Mommy’s broke and can’t afford to buy toys.” He started saying it when he was around 2 or 3 and still says it occasionally. 

I may have just gotten paid on Friday, but it seems I have not budgeted for anything this paycheck. I have a notice that the oral surgeon I went to last year to pull a wisdom tooth will seek collections if I don’t pay within 10-days. I have all my bills I still need to pay on top of it all, plus gas and food. 

Maybe starting to pay off school loans was premature? I had to start at some point and I thought it was good timing. Now, I’m not so sure. I cannot forget my credit card payments and vehicle lease I need to pay as well.

It really stinks when your expenses outweigh your income. How did this all happen and how do I get myself out of this cistern I dug myself into? The Old Testament mentions cisterns, I hear that it was used to store water, like a reservoir. But when it’s dry, it’s difficult to pull oneself out of it. It’s what Joseph’s brothers threw Joseph into before selling their dear brother to the Egyptians. 

My cistern bank account is dry. It’s hard to pull myself out of it. I am in need of some rain or someone to fill it to get myself out. While I attempt to do this on my own, I do hope you will stick with me! All the accountability and suggestions and uplifting comments are welcome. I dug myself into this and I will dig myself out.

Posted in Black Friday, budget, Debt management, Payday

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! On this Thanksgiving, I am very thankful for those deployed and away from their families. A good friend of mine recently returned from Afghanistan and much has happened in her life and family in the last 6 months. Thank you to all who have and are serving in our nation’s military, this includes family members as well!

In addition, I have noticed a ton of advertisements for pre-Black Friday sales. While some began a week ago, there are retailers having sales today and tomorrow. I even saw a local mall that will be open until midnight tomorrow. Thank you to all who work in retail and spend countless hours dealing with the endless shoppers! I pray you will keep your cool and make time to complete your own shopping as well.

Speaking of tomorrow, it is well known as Black Friday, when retailers no longer operate in debt, rather their sales are historically higher than the rest of the year as consumers begin their holiday shopping. Tomorrow is also my payday. Can there be anything worse than payday falling in Black Friday?

Personally, I’m not a big shopper. I like to walk around and pick out items. Sometimes I’ll carry the items around the store only to put it all back because I really don’t need it. Knowing that I’m getting paid on Black Friday encourages me to stay away from shopping because I am afraid my paycheck will get spent before I pay the necessary bills. And I can’t have that happen!

Now, if you’re a Black Friday shopper, please be safe. Be sure to keep your belongings and items you want to buy close to you as there are some who will snatch it out from under you when you’re not looking. And most of all, be mindful of your budget!

Posted in budget, Debt management, income, Payday

Paycheck budgeting

Depending on how often I’ve gotten paid throughout my adult life, it’s affected how I pay bills. I’ll admit, it was much simpler when I got paid once a month and just pay all my bills with each check. And it forced me to budget what was left over much easier. And I always felt broke for the rest of the month.

Then there’s the weekly paycheck. I’ve been through the weekly. It felt like I actually had money, but it forced me to divide my bills up into 4 pay checks and hope I get everything paid off at the end. It was quite stressful for me.

More recently, I’ve been paid twice a month or every other week. The results are quite similar for these two, at least in my experience.

Now, I divide my monthly payments into two payments. For the most part, the bigger payments I actually divide in half. The smaller payments, I can divide it into two payments each or I can pay one bill one week and another at the next check. It’s all about keeping track of what’s being paid and how much is owed when.

The last thing I want to do is miss a payment and end up paying late fees. I’ve been known to pay late fees and right now, I’m trying to avoid that! I could save so much money if I stop the late payments!

I’ve attempted the Excel spreadsheet budgeting, but it hasn’t been very effective for me. I’m going to start using a calendar to show myself when and what I’m paying and how much is going where. I’m a visual learner, so I need to see my due dates and payments. It is a new way of tracking my budget and payments that might be a lot of work, but I’m sure it’ll be useful for me in the end. I’ll post later on my progress.

I want to do the cash spending as well, so any spending money for the week or specific time period is to using cash only. I still need to work on this as I’ve already failed with this paycheck.