Note: We receive a commission for purchases made through the links on this site. Our sponsors, however, do not influence our editorial content in any way.
The first step in figuring out your money, or bill paying rhythm is to take a look at your net income and your outgoing expenses. Some people are paid weekly, biweekly, or monthly. The frequency and timing of your paychecks will help you decide when to pay your bills. You must assess which bills are fixed, and which are variable. Fixed bills don’t change from month to month. Variable bills are at your discretion. Mortgage or rent, internet/TV/phone bills are examples of fixed expenses. Entertainment, food , or gas would be variable. Then once you see your spending obligations, you can begin work on upgrading your money management skills and planning.
After you have figured out your net income and total expenses, you are ready to create a bill paying rhythm that is optimized for your needs. You will add together all of your fixed monthly expenses and subtract them from your net income. This will give you an idea of what you have left for savings and extras each pay period. If you get paid every two weeks,for example, you may need to save some money from the last paycheck to pay bills that are due in the beginning of the month. If you have a large chunk of expenses clustered toward the middle of the month, you will need to be conscientious of that near the beginning and end of the month. This is why it is very important to have a solid bill paying rhythm in place.
Doing inventory of your cash flow is essential in the process of helping you improve your financial life. You can use apps such as Mint, or Clarity, or even writing your payments and expenses out in black and white on a calendar. Inventory of how you pay your bills can be helpful, too.
Automatic payment methods can be a popular option, but there are a couple things to consider. If you use automatic payments, you could be charged a fee for every payment made. Furthermore, if you have automatic payments set up for things like a streaming service or gym membership and forget to cancel, you are literally losing money. In addition having, automatic payments for a credit card and they pay the minimum due, you are paying far more in interest in the long run.
An empowering but often overlooked aspect of money management is that you have choices with your money remaining after fixed expenses. You can save, pay down a credit card or student loan, or invest if you so choose. In brief, changing and upgrading your bill paying rhythm will help you upgrade all areas of your life. Once you are aware of where your money goes, you can take charge of it in the future. Being on top of your finances can set you well on your way to financial freedom.