Paper bills are a huge source of clutter, says Heather Cabot, the Web life editor at Yahoo! “So paying bills online is one of the most effective things you can do.” If you’re hesitant to venture into the world of online bill paying, take a deep breath and follow these steps.
1. Change your payment dates to the same week.
Simply call all your creditors—utilities, insurance, credit cards, etc.—and ask them to make the change. (The vast majority of companies have an end-of-month option.) Have the service representative verbally confirm the new due date before you hang up. Make a list of each bill and the new due dates.
2. Opt for paperless billing.
Set up your online profile and paperless billing option with each major company you pay regularly. Once you’re set up, payment due notices will be sent to your email account and you can go to the website to download the bill. Each new bill will note the previous month’s payment.
3. Set up autopay for fixed bills.
While you’re online, go to your bank’s website and arrange for autopay (so that monthly payments will be automatically sent from your bank account) for all bills that are the same amount each month, such as health insurance premiums or rent. (You’ll still pay bills with varying amounts, such as credit card and utility bills, directly to those companies.)
4. Schedule a monthly bill-pay session.
About a week before they’re due, download copies of each new bill from the company website, check for errors, electronically save them into a folder you’ve set up, and pay your variable bills.
5. Consider an all-in-one bill management tool.
If the previous step sounds too time-consuming, check out two trusted sites, Doxo.com and Manilla.com, which can help you manage all your bills in one place. Though not everyone is comfortable sharing financial information with one website, it makes sense for household utilities and insurance bills that don’t include credit card or Social Security numbers.
Looking for more ways to curb paper clutter? Click here for helpful tips.
This article originally appeared on WomansDay.com and is republished here with permission.