Do you remember that age where parties began to be a “thing” back in middle school or early high school? Every weekend, there would be some sort of get-together. I know my friends and I would barely miss a single one. We would count down the days and wouldn’t even need to write it down in our calendars or agendas, we just knew. Attending these events were a must! That was at least until our mothers destroyed our hopes and dreams with a two-letter word.
Now imagine being that excited about paying your bills. Ok, maybe it’s not the same feeling but what if we approached it with the same mentality? Did you know that about 25% of American adults don’t pay their bills on time? Why don’t we count down the days of our bills just how we used to do it for the parties? I do understand that everyone has a different situation, where unfortunate circumstances come to surface. I get it, life tends to get in the way of our plans. Yet, many people simply forget. Forgetting is in our human nature because if we didn’t forget our brain would drive us crazy! Thankfully, there is a simple solution to this madness. There is actually more than one solution and I’ll mention a couple for you to hit the ground running.
When you have a dentist’s appointment, what is the first thing you do? If you’re old school, you take a piece of paper and write it down and probably either put it on the refrigerator door or nightstand. This reminds you because you look at it every day. Well, although that is one way, frankly it is not efficient enough because it can easily become something you start to ignore as you carry on with your daily routines. Yet, let us say you do forget your dentist’s appointment. There is no penalty or major consequence if you do, besides having to wait longer for your next appointment. But, if you forget to pay your bills, there are several consequences. First, the amount you owe will add up quickly, making you feel stressed and trapped. We don’t want that, we want to be financially free and most importantly HAPPY! By letting bills accumulate, interest makes the amount double quickly, placing yourself in a hole. Putting it in simple everyday words, if you don’t pay now, you’ll owe much more tomorrow. Get the idea?
Secondly, not paying on time will affect your credit score. Your credit score is probably the first thing banks and companies verify to see how much of a risk they will be taking by lending you money. This includes any type of loans for cars, mortgages, or projects. It also affects the limit on your credit card, if even approved for it. This inconvenience can stay on your credit score for a whole seven years. So, make sure you pay your bills on time.
Now the solution!
If you are a Millennial or even a Generation Z, chances are you own a smartphone. Besides texting and Instagram, they come with default apps that can help you organize & remind yourself. Not to mention the abundance of downloadable apps that may assist you as well. The default apps I am talking about are the Calendar and Reminder app. The calendar app allows you to set events and alerts on each event. You can set each event to repeat itself daily, weekly, and even monthly. Once you know when your bills are due each month, make sure to go into the app and set your events accordingly. In order to make customers’ lives easier, most banks have a mobile app that makes paying bills more accessible. These apps also have an alert system that you can easily set-up.
If you are not familiar with automation, try setting up an appointment with your bank on how to automate your payments. Automation might sound complicated at first but may save you a lot of time and hazle in the future. There are a lot of myths in the Financial industry, but “time is money” is not one of them.
If I wanted you to take something away from this article is that paying bills on time is extremely important, especially on our road to financial freedom. Hard times will come, and sometimes paying your bills might seem impossible, but I implore you to find a way and make sure you pay on time! Did I mention you should pay your bills on time? Just making sure. Another thing I want you to take away from this article is the simplicity of creating events and alerts for each and every single one of your payments. Don’t make your busy mind have to remember all the dates of each payment, and simply add some relief to your life. If you have any more questions or doubts, don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below. As always, stay hungry and stay TENACIOUS!
Edwin A. Rodriguez
Founder of Financial Tenacity