Struggling to stay on top of your bills? Stressed about whether you can pay them, or if you forgot to pay something? If so, you’re are not alone. According to a February report from the American Psychological Association, stress about money and finances impacts more people than stress about work, family or health concerns. Nearly 3 out of 4 people reported being stressed about money at least some of the time.
There are many complex reasons why people are stressed out about their finances—but regular bills are a major source of that stress.
One easy way you can reduce your bill-related stress is to create a bill checklist. A bill checklist is simply a list of every recurring bill you have, along with how much is due, and how often the bill repeats. Your checklist should allow you to easily You can make this on paper, in a spreadsheet, or, most easily, using an app designed for that purpose on your computer or mobile device.
However you decide to set your bill checklist up, here are three reasons why you absolutely should make one.
- It removes a major source of stress
Paying bills is stressful enough, the last thing you want is to also be stressed about whether or not you remembered to pay that electric bill this month. Or whether or not you put the check in the mail for the mortgage.You might think a big list of all your bills will look daunting—but the first step to conquering something is to be aware of it. And sometimes, our imagination is worse than reality. By having a concrete list of all your bills, you can be sure you’re not missing anything, and develop a plan for paying them off.
- It frees you to spend money without guilt
No matter how you pay your bills (even if they are automatic), having a list of when your bills are due, and how much is due allows you to calculate how much disposable income you have left over. When you know how much money you have to allocate to your bills, you can spend money without worrying
- It can improve your financial position
One of the worst things you can do for your financial health is to make a late payment. According to CreditKarma, a single late payment might cause you to be charged a late fee, raise your interest rate and lower your credit score. On-time payments are one of the biggest factors in determining your credit score, and a higher score means lower interest rates (and in turn lower payments) when you get a loan.Without a bill checklist, it’s very easy to accidentally miss a bill, and thus, incur all of those negative effects. With a comprehensive list, you’ll be sure not to miss anything, and thus improve your financial standing and avoid fees.
If you’re ready to try making your own, be sure to read our followup article, how to create a bill checklist for a few tips and tricks to make the process easier.