There is a Learner to Teacher experience during writing topics about saving money on bills. Luck fully I’ve experienced most of the things I’ve written about, and then, in turn, it changes me. One of the topics I’ve been most excited to make changes to was the handling of my “Bills.” I’ve looked forward to that day that I can happily wake up knowing I owed “nobody” and “nothing.” As of this present time, I can claim it as such. The bills are caught up, paid, and crushed before they grow. Then like in a thoughtful moment, after you met one goal. In comes another idea, “How can I get my bills paid a month ahead?”
The Benefits of Paying your bills in Advance
Financial security = Less Stress
Financial issues are one of the top stressors for most people. Paying some of your bills in advance will lift a lot of anxiety. You won’t have to worry about when someone is due and shift your focus to other things.
Discounts for Paying on time: It always pays to make your payments on time. A lot of companies reward their customers for on-time payments and length.
Less fees or additional interest
Do you know what comes with late payments? The dreaded fees. Paying your bills in advance can ease the mind or ever missing a payment. If an emergency happens at a surprise, you can sit well, thinking this will not cost you more than expected.
A Quick Summary to get your Bills paid a Month Ahead
- Getting Your Upcoming Expenses Organized (And on a Budget!)
- Saving the Money to cover the following Month
- Strategically paying your Bills
“What does it mean to be One Month Ahead on your Bills?”
You were wrecking your head before on the stress of having a lot of bills. The end didn’t seem in sight but now, you’re at a balance. The goal is to get you ahead of the game, getting those bills paid a month in advance. To be One Month Ahead means that all of next month’s bills are prepaid already. Once you have a good start you can continue this repetition in the following months. Let’s start by saying, it’s not easy and it’s not quick. I’m not here to steer you into something that is unrealistic because I know money stress can be really “real.”
What you are going to be reading is how to exactly accomplish that, step by step. (so grab a notebook, maybe a cup of coffee and a list of your current bills) By this point in your Financial Journey, you should’ve caught up with any reoccurring expenses. You can’t spring ahead to another goal if you are not making a habit out of the current one. After it’s done, then you can move forward.
Bills organized and Budgeted
Paying your bills ahead of schedule is not a new technique, a lot of money-conscious individuals sought out this method. I’d like to think of it as now you have all the cards on the table. So what are the cards on your deck, oh yes, I mean monthly bills? What are the current bills you have to pay every month? I’ve listed a couple of these bills that are for certain
- Rent/ Mortgage
- Insurances (Life, Car, Health)
There is no arguing that you will indefinitely pay these bills unless of course, you purchased your home, one or two of these are going to be paid. I’m sure you can probably think of a few more in your budget, but these are common ones. The fact is that you know next month or even 6 months from now, you will have to pay for these bills. Let’s add them up! Total the amount that you need to have saved to cover next month’s expenses. What is your number?
When I totaled up my number is was $3,000 at first. The problem was that my bills went over my funds. The expenses went over my income of about $1,000 a month. Our goal is to be able to cover a month’s worth of bills, so I have two choices, either cut my expenses or earn more income. The importance of knowing your number coincides with budgeting. Doing a monthly budget should have brought you through the process of balancing out these figures. We need to be balanced between our income and expenses, at the very least to have an overage of income.
Side Note for Budgeting Beginners
If you are new at budgeting, I’m not going to leave your hanging. Click some of the links below to get started and meet us back here to get these bills paid in advance. In these articles, there are also tips that you can implement to help increase your income or cut back on expenses.
- What exactly is a “Budget”?
- How to Prepare your Budget and Stay Consistent
- How to use the 50/30/20 Budgeting Method
- How to use the Zero-Based Budgeting Method
Organization (and all the paperwork)
Budgeting can be a long process and you have to become really good at being organized. As tedious as may seem, keeping track of incoming and outgoing expenses are also important. If you want to be able to pay off additional months, you have to keep records of your expenses on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly view. Some expenses may occur at different times versus just monthly. Also, there may be times that your income fluctuates, in my case, it’s usually seasonally. In winter months my income is lesser versus spring where it’s the highest.
Step One is already on track, getting yourself organized and budgeted is off the list. At this point, you should already have your entire year planned, including all of the surprise expenses. Along with you should already have an idea how much you need to save to cover a month in advance. Ready to move forward? Time to find the money.
Finding additional Money to cover Expenses
Extra Income in longer months
Just when you thought that it would take a whole year to come up with extra money, there are quicker ways. There are periods throughout the year that you might have extra cash. If you work as an hourly employee, there’s at least two or three months through the year when you have an extra paycheck. I call these my “Cha-Ching” months, lol because that third paycheck is half of my expenses.
Typically there are at least two months that have an extra week of pay. Place aside two paychecks will cover a whole month of Bill’s. After this is done place it into a savings account that earns interest. My tip is to place in a high yield savings account or a money market account connected to your regular banking account.
Take advantage of Income Tax Time
The day in which I file my taxes after putting in extra funds from my paycheck is a benefit for me. Like a lot of Americans, this is a great return. Surely, I don’t mean to rub it into any of the pain it feels to those that have to pay. To look on the bright side and return is a good boost to save money. We need to not tempt ourselves to splurge and buy useless things. Save this money aside to collect for our goal, paying your Bill’s in advance.
Hustling is hard but the work pays off
The last and in my opinion is the hardest to earn more money. Earn extra income can come from many sources. If you work at an hourly rate, you can put in an extra hour by merely clocking in early 10 minutes every day. Speak to your employer about and more work opportunities. Working overtime, if available, can significantly add to your pay. Another way you can earn money is by obtaining another source of income. Side hustles have coined this term for extra cash. My tip is to find something you enjoy and won’t disturb your regular primary source of income.
If all the ways I listed above are difficult, there is a slightly quicker approach. An easy way to get some cash can be selling some of your things. Those of you that are naturally attached to things have a hard time getting rid of useless stuff. Believe it or not, having a more minimalist lifestyle can help you save money and feel less stressed.
Declutter and sell all the stuff
It’s the same feeling I get when I clear my kitchen counters, solely at peace. Go through a decluttering session in your home and see what items you can let go of to sell. There are always new marketplace platforms where they make it easy to flip your goods for profit.
We have made progress in getting ready to pay these future expenses. Step two might be the most time consuming but deserves its place on the board. Step one was about getting our finances organized; the second was earning extra money. Our last tip is to finally pay our bills but emphasizing on the word “strategically.”
Time to pay all the bills
I can sense that your anxious to get these bills paid, but let’s be smart about it. When it comes to paying bills in priority it’s better to start with the larger ones. The biggest bills take up most of the budget, so paying these first will save us a lot of headaches. Number one bill at the top of our list: Rent. Rent takes up 25% of your monthly budget for most of us, so this is the one that should be paid first. The next ones on our list are the utilities, then the insurances. Paying insurance for the half of year quotes can save you more money than a monthly bill. Insurance expenses are calculated when you renew your policy, so take advantage of this opportunity next time.
Groceries, gas, and any other personal spending can vary in amount throughout the year. Putting money away for this category can be challenging. The best tip I can give you is to look at your pre budgeted year and take into account when you spend most of each of these. If you’re trying to pay the months from November to December in advance, your food section might be most significant because of the holidays. In the summer months, personal spending or the entertainment section might be larges for all the summer activities. Pre-budgeting your year in advance is vital, be as accurate as possible don’t sugarcoat the numbers.
Wrapping up our strategy is first to make sure your bills are all organized and pre budgeted. Then you want to save as much as you can to cover your bills in advance. The extra money can come from socking away additional funds or cutting back on expenses. Lastly, you want to pay your bills larges to the smallest.
If you’re an expert reader …
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