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Bills. They give mail a bad name. Nobody wants them, and nobody likes them, but they keep coming anyway. It’s one of those unpleasantries in life that you have to just deal with and move on. If you don’t, it will definitely end up being a lot more than inconvenient. It’ll cost ya.
The most helpful tool for me in managing my family’s finances is organization. I file my bills, receipts and track everything online through my bank. In the past I used to actually enter all of my purchases into a finance program and then reconcile everything when the bills came. You’d be surprised at the errors you find. Once, I discovered that a waitress had increased her 20% tip substantially (and I had the receipt on file to prove it).
I liked feeling so in control of ever dollar I earned and each one I spent. But there isn’t enough time in the day for that anymore. Not with the little one, the blog, the job and countless other responsibilities. But having order in the office is key. It’s just a matter of filing that bill when you pay it, and keeping the receipts where you can find them later if need be (especially for easy returns). At least that’s what works for me.
However, it is easy to get distracted by life. I find that if I don’t stay on top of it all, I very easily lose track of bills, forget to follow up on refunds and rebates and so forth, and my office starts to look like it does now. It’s a mix of product manuals, copies of paid bills (hey–at least they’re paid), receipts, product manuals, business cards, important documentation and God knows what else.
This is what happens when you let things pile up. Don’t let it happen to you.