I’ve made a few money mistakes in my life…
– When I was 23, I furnished my one bedroom apartment with a lease-to-own furniture program
– When I was 26, I purchased a brand new car on high interest loan
– Before I turned 30, I had amassed close to $90,000 in student loans and was about to have a $45,000 wedding
Ok. Now that I look at it, I’ve made more than just a few money mistakes. I’ve made a ridiculous number of money mistakes!
However, I’m proud that I did not make this one money mistake; paying bills late.
Despite all the dumb mistakes I’ve made in my life I’ve have never paid a single bill late. In this post I want to explain to you why it’s so important to never be late with paying your bills and how you can prevent it from ever happening.
1) Pay on Time – Prevents Money Problem Spiral
There’s always a start to everything. Same goes with money problem. It often starts with missing one credit card payment. Then two. Soon you are faced with a tough decision to either reconsolidate your loans or find a bankruptcy lawyer.
However, if you get in the habit of paying your bills on time every single month you prevent this downward spiral.
You are forced to look at your finances if you are barely able to make your payments. Because you are committing to making your payments on time, you figure out a solution to making your money work instead of just hiding from it.
2) It’s the Principle
Another reason why you should commit to paying on time every month doesn’t specifically have to do with money, but the principle.
Imagine if you were working for someone and he or she stopped paying you. What would you do? Most people would stop working for that individual. Or imagine you sold someone a product and he or she didn’t pay you for it.
We shouldn’t be surprised that if we don’t pay on time, we are charged for late payments. If the tables were turned, we would do the same.
If we made the decision to purchase a product or service (credit card counts as service) we should also commit to paying on time. If we can’t pay on time, we should reevaluate our purchasing decision.
3) Simple Solution – Automate Your Payment
The simplest method to ensuring you never pay your bills late is to automate your payment. Most banks these days provide a free way to pay your bills electronically. They also have automated mechanisms to alert you by text or email whenever your bills come in and when they are due.
When you set auto pay through your bank, you still get a chance to review your bills before the bank authorizes the payment on the due date. If you have payments that are the same every month like your rent or car, automating your payment is a no brainer.
However, if you are concerned about automating everything, especially payments that vary from month to month like credit card, you can choose a manual option. With this option, you need to authorize the bank to make payment each time, but if you are the type that want to check all the charges to ensure they are accurate this could be a good option. Just make sure you don’t forget to press ‘pay’ after you checked for inaccuracies before the due date!
One more tip regarding automating your payment. Make sure you always have enough money in your bank account to cover the bill. Otherwise not only will your payment not go through, but you will likely get hit with overdraft fees from the bank as well as late fees from the merchant that expects your payment.
Have you ever paid your bills late? How did it feel?