Posted in 2016, Auto Pay, bills, credit cards, organization

Avoid Stressing About Your Bills!

Hey everyone! In the past I’ve started my posts with scenarios. Well, the scenario I would have written was going to sound quite similar to one I’ve detailed in the past, so I’m going to get to all the good stuff instead. In today’s day in age, technology has become extremely advanced to the point you can even lock your home doors from a faraway location via cell phone apps. With all these technological conveniences, it’s a wonder why companies still have late fees. The point of this story is: Auto Pay! I have debated on setting my own bills on Auto Pay for quite some time for the simple reason of consequence. For example, what if I don’t have all the money in my bank account by the date this company plans on taking it out? What if I get charged a bank fee and a late fee from this particular company? We’ll those fears are legitimate, as others have shared the same. Here are some ways to make this as fool proof as possible:

bills_worried.jpg

 

1. Carefully read the Terms and Conditions before setting an account on Auto Pay.

 

Most people generally scroll to the bottom and simply click “agree” instead of reading through it all. Then, at a later time, find an unknown charge or increased minimum payment on their account that the customer service representative explains was on the agreement. Trust me, it’s better just to read it all and save it after. This contract will detail any scenario that may occur and the action of the 1st and 2nd party (the company and yourself). If this agreement changes at any time, the company you do business with should let you know via letter or e-mail.

*Please note: If your Auto Pay rule is set for the minimum payment due and that minimum is increased for any reason, the company you do business with may require you make a second payment or they will just take it out themselves. Again, this is something you will read in the Terms and Agreement.

2. Browse upcoming months to discover when the best date to set this recurring payment to.

 

While the date may be perfect this month, what happens when the next Auto Pay rule is set before your next pay day? I looked through every month to make sure the date is convenient, not only by pay days, but also by what day of the week it falls on. Say your bill is due on the 9th and you set your Auto Pay rule for the due date; your bill could be late. Some companies give a pass if your account is set an Auto Pay. Some will charge you a late fee. Some companies even take the money out on the Friday prior so you can avoid these fees. I prefer the less risky approach, so I do the research myself and set the Auto Pay rule for a few days in advance.

3. Don’t forget to check your bill!

 

At any time, for any reason, your bill can change. Just because your account is set on Auto Pay doesn’t mean you never have to open your mail (or your e-mail, for you savvy people out there). One time my credit card company removed $80 from my account instead of $35 so while I have been guilty of this, I have been working to break that habit little by little.

 

I hope this post helps you all become less stressed about paying your bills. Also, please remember that not one of us is perfect! Being perfectly organized does not happen overnight! This is a process that takes mistakes and learning from them. Good luck, you all.

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Posted in 2016, neat, organization

Letting Consistency Be the Key to Your Success

Scenario: You’re waiting in line at the grocery store when you receive a text from your friend asking “Why weren’t you at Zumba class this morning?” You think to yourself, that was today?; What day is it today? It’s easy to get lost in time when life keeps you busy. The key to remembering what is when and when is when is to keep a log and check it often.

Everyone gets overwhelmed once in a while, especially if you have kids and then you have to account time for their activities. Even though I don’t have kids, I am always out and about doing something. So, one of the things I do is use my calendar efficiently. When things come up, I mark it on my calendar and I refer to it often. I tell my husband a couple times a week “Don’t forget we have to do ‘this’ on Thursday.” It’s not only to remind my husband, but also to remind myself. I find that repeating tasks out loud helps me remember when things are to be done.

I’m always on the lookout for new ways to stay organized, so I started searching through Microsoft Excel and found a few neat spreadsheets for you all to take into consideration. These are pretty easy to get to: Open Microsoft Excel > File > New > Templates. You will come to a screen that will let you open sample templates of time sheets, lists, planners, receipts, schedules and so much more.

september-calendar-2016

I’m just showing you September from this spreadsheet, but upon opening yours, you’ll find it’s a complete 2016 calendar. I added just a few things that may come up on a large amount of viewers’ weekly tasks. The point of marking the weekly occurrence is to keep consistency. If you can control when you do certain things, such as exercising, it would help to keep it on the same days and times so you can easily remember these things. I often say to myself, “Tomorrow is Thursday, so I’m going to wake up early, exercise and then get ready for work.”

Remember, not everything comes so easily, so if you find yourself struggling to remember when tasks need to be done, refer to your calendar. The most important part is actually utilizing your calendar by marking everything down when it comes up. There are times I do not have my calendar with me when I’m out, so I use a sticky note and I stick it to my phone, so when I get home I have the reminder to put it in my calendar. There are also reminders on your cell phone; just set a detailed reminder to go off around the time you get home and when it goes off put it in your calendar. Good luck and feel free to contact me with any questions, comments and suggestions!

Posted in 2016, Determination

Sticking to the Plan

Hey everyone! It has been a really long time since I’ve posted anything! In March of 2015, I was proposed to get married and needless to say, that had consumed a lot of my time. Now that my dream wedding has come and gone, I am back because I have missed sharing my thoughts with you all!

Also, as I am sure you have noticed my posting are quite long, so in effort to keep your attention, I will aim to make these shorter. Now let’s get to it!

Sticking to the plan!

Scenario: How many times have you come home from work and plopped yourself on the couch until it was time for bed? You feel relaxed and distressed, but what have you truly accomplished? Dinner still needs to be cooked, laundry needs to be washed, dried and put away (the horror!) and continuously putting those things off only makes it more dreadful to do when you finally decide you aren’t going to procrastinate anymore. I’m going to help you find ways to get things done even when you feel overwhelmed.

Before my husband and I left for our honeymoon, we had moved twice. Our things were everywhere; in boxes, bags, storage unit – it was a disaster. We hadn’t even opened our mail! Everything was just so hectic because we not only were confused about where our things were, but we were planning for a wedding and had trouble finding time for the little things. A weekend to relax was always a weekend spent meeting with family to prepare for the Big Day, getting together with DJ’s, photographers and wedding coordinators. Something I have learned along the way is to get done with the little things while they are still little.

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Mail: DO NOT just pile mail in a shoebox and get to it when the box is overflowing! I have learned the hard way. If you are like me, you know what day your bills are due and how much you need to pay off the top of your head by now, but sometimes there are changes to your bills that you are only going to know of if you open your mail (or check the portal, for those of you who like to save paper).

pile of laundry

Laundry: Now, I find this more difficult to get done in a day, but I feel a whole lot happier when I’m not sleeping on a pile of clothes or kicking them from the end of the bed to the floor. So, I aim to do laundry once a week. I’ve noticed if I don’t get to folding it and putting it away the day I do the laundry, it usually hangs around until the next week when I do laundry again. So, as much as it’s stressful to dedicate hours to this, just get it over with. You will be thankful later.

I’m always coming up with ideas on how to share my organization skills (and yes, I’m still teaching myself daily). The best way to get things done is to give yourself a little list to do when you get home. I’ve noticed that if I get to things right when I get home instead of going to the couch, I’m more likely to feel more optimistic about chores. Remember – LITTLE TASKS! The mess you have did not happen in one day so it will not be cleaned or organized in one either. Pace yourself, you’re only one person. It’s okay to get started on something and leave it unfinished until the next day (just don’t procrastinate on doing it the next day). Create a plan and stick to it! It’s the only way things are going to get done.