I am of the opinion that you can sometimes learn as much from someone’s mistakes than you can from their successes. With that in mind, I present to you a mistake (mine of course), and some successes (DocumentSnap’s smart readers, naturally).
The subject? Tracking your to-be-paid bills when you are going paperless.
This has been working great, and I’ve been really happy with the results. For companies with whom I have requested paperless billing, I go to the site, download the PDF, use a quick TextExpander snippet to give it a name, and then Hazel magically whisks it away to my filing system.
It was all working really well until one day I received a letter from my local electricity utility. It turns out that when a company sends you a bill, they would prefer that you pay it. Oops. Somehow in my paperless workflow frenzy, I had filed away my electric bill without paying it.
This led me to wonder: what do DocumentSnap’s readers do to track their payable bills? Since this was before the Forum, I turned to social media.
The Smart People
Question: With paperless bills, how do you remind yourself that a bill is due? ToPay folder? Alarm somewhere?
Here are some of the responses:
Brandon: I scan bills to Evernote with the tag: /Unpaid Bills. Stays at top of tag list. Then I delete the tag when bill is paid.
cryptochrome: I use box.net and set alarm/task for each bill with automatic Google Cal sync.
Ian: I have everything set to preauthorized. Everything except rent and BC Hydro go on a credit card (with cashback rewards) and those two are direct from my primary bank account. And then the credit card is set to auto pay in full monthly, so I never have to worry about forgetting to pay a bill.
Lee: Monthly payables are setup on Excel spreadsheet with headings NAME; ACCT NO; ID/PW; Internet Address; BALANCE; PAYMENT; STATUS (PD/DUE); DATE; B/L (Becky/Lee). It seems so simple this way. When I eventually do like Ian and set them all to automatic payment. As long as I keep enough money in the bank, the monthly payments flow seamlessly and effortlessly. I even set up one line item using a separate bank account at another bank (Ally). It’s like the old Xmas Club account. I put enough money in the account monthly to accumulate the total I need in January to pay the annual payments for property taxes; LTC Health Insurance; Life Insurance; Dental Insurance, etc. Those items I pay annually. It works so well, I think I’ll patent it. (not likely) but it does seem I really have a handle on monthly bills this way. Of course, this is all ‘paperless’
When you subscribe to paperless billing, how do you track what needs to be paid? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.