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5 Simple Steps to take the Stress out of Managing Bills

Author:

Hilary Krutt

Published:

April 6, 2022

5 Simple Steps to take the Stress out of Managing Bills


When it comes to paying your bills on time, we’re borrowing a mantra from one of our favorite sneaker brands: just do it.

Okay, it might not be that easy—especially during months when money is tight and the prospect of sorting through a stack of bills is particularly anxiety-inducing.

If you find yourself dreading that time of the month (the bill-paying time, of course), then these tips are for you. After doing a bit of organising and prioritising, you may even find that paying your bills gives you a moment of zen in your hectic day-to-day.

  1. Take stock of recurring expenses and inflated bills.

Before you can make your approach to bill payment more efficient, it helps to take a close look at just what bills you’ve currently got on the table—and where you might be able to save. Of course, essentials like electricity, internet, and your phone bill can’t really be avoided, but you may be able to negotiate a better rate with your provider or switch to a more basic plan. For energy Zip has a great feature for bill switching you should check out.^

You may also be able to pare down more “nice-to-have” monthly subscriptions in order to free up more cash for your essentials. Centralising your subscriptions with Zip’s subscription payment method is a great way to know what you are subscribed to each month. The rule about culling your wardrobe is that you should throw away anything you haven’t worn for a full calendar year (or, if you’re a Konmari devotee, anything that no longer sparks joy).

For subscription services like Netflix, the time frame should be shorter: when it comes time to pay your bill, take a moment to consider whether you’ve used the service over the course of the past month. If you haven’t, it may be time to freeze or cancel your subscription.

  1. Organize your time, space, and approach.

We firmly believe that there’s nothing a good organizational life hack can’t fix, and personal finance is no exception. When it comes to getting your bills in check, there are three areas to focus on:

Bring some method to the madness. There are a ton of options for tackling your monthly budget and keeping tabs on expenses, but a good old spreadsheet is often the easiest to maintain. Get in the zone. Set up a dedicated bill payment zone, and keep any paper bills that roll in during the month in that space. If you live in a shoebox apartment, simply stashing them in a folder until you’re ready to tackle them will do the trick. Take the time. Set yourself a recurring calendar reminder for a day that you know you’ll have some free time each month. Maybe the last Friday of the month turns into a personal finance fiesta—whatever helps you stick with a routine!

  1. Conquer your money anxiety.

Ever heard the old saying, “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t?” This couldn’t be more true than when it comes to the often daunting task of paying your bills.

Many people put off paying bills, or don’t even open them when they arrive in the mail, because they are worried about juggling these expenses on a tight budget. But this procrastination can actually become a self-fulfilling prophecy, with late fees and penalties piling up for non-payment.

So, take a deep breath and rip the bandage off. If you really can’t make payment before the due date, take advantage of grace periods (most bills come with a 15-day grace period). If you use a product like Zip to manage your bills, you can reach out to adjust a payment due date to better align with your next pay.

  1. Streamline and automate where you can.

If you prefer receiving hard copies of your bills, keep them organized in your dedicated bill payment zone (see tip #2) and file them away each month for easy access.

But if you’re finding it difficult to keep track of all the paper bills coming in the mail, there’s one simple alternative: go digital! You can likely set up automatic payments for a majority of your monthly bills. Just be sure to set up alerts for when money is withdrawn from your bank account to keep tabs on your cash flow. In many cases you may also find that you are not charged a statement fee when you move to electronic versions.

  1. Last but not least: consider using Zip to pay your bills.

We get this question a lot: “Can I use Zip to pay bills?”

The answer, which may surprise you, is a resounding yes! In fact, paying your bills with the Zip app can take a lot of the anxiety out of the process.*

Here are a few ways that Zip can help you streamline your bill payments:

  • Instead of having to pay all of your bills in full at the beginning or the end of the month, you can choose to pay them off weekly, fortnightly or monthly to better align with your pay cycle.
  • You’ll get automatic reminders ahead of your payment due dates so you’re never caught off guard.
  • It’s easy to track your open payments and payment history in the app, which can give you a better sense of any month to month fluctuations.

Download the Zip app to check out the better way to pay and start spreading your payments over time.

This content is for information purposes only and does not consider your personal circumstances and situation. It should not be taken as constituting professional advice. Zip is not a financial adviser. We recommend you seek independent advice from a qualified professional such as an Australian Financial Adviser. Zip is a product provider and does not have any relationships with Financial Advisers.

Zip is not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided in this website.

^The bill switch platform is powered by CIMET. We do not compare all brands in the market, or all products offered by all brands. At times certain brands or products may not be available or offered to you. If you proceed with a plan through the Zip platform; Zip, CIMET and CIMET partners may each receive a referral fee.

*Processing fee applies.

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