Paying Bills | Money Management Exodus Lending - Exodus Lending

Paying Bills

By Kaitlyn Szabo December 20, 2021

Staying on top of bills is an ongoing challenge for many. When we asked our program participants why they took out a payday loan, nearly a quarter of respondents said to pay for bills. That’s why we wanted to provide organizational tips for bill management and resources if you cannot afford to pay your bills right now.        

Step 1: Gather the information

To get a comprehensive list of all your bills, collect your bank and credit card statements, any mail or emails from creditors, and your credit report. From these sources, you should be able to get these four pieces of information for each bill: the creditor (who do you pay?), the minimum amount due (how much do you owe now?), the due date (when do you need to pay?), and the overall balance, if applicable (how much in total do you owe?).

When should I pay more than the minimum?

If you can afford the minimum amount due on all of your bills or loans and have disposable income in your budget, it is a good idea to pay more. By paying extra, you can reduce your overall balance to eliminate debt sooner, pay less in interest, and potentially improve your credit score. For example, if you want to reduce your credit card debt, you’ll likely need to pay more than the minimum.

Step 2: Make a payment plan.

After getting all the information together, determine how you will pay by choosing one of these options: 

  • Set up automatic payments through their website or your financial institution’s Bill Pay feature.
  • Pay immediately upon receipt online by debit or credit card or by mail via check.
  • Schedule time each week or month to pay all upcoming bills at once by your preferred method.

When should I set up automatic payments?

Automatic payments are convenient for individuals who struggle with remembering due dates but typically have the funds in their bank account. Once initiated, it requires little effort from you to make payments. It works best for regular monthly bills of a predictable amount, like internet or streaming subscription services.

Step 3: Add it to your routine.

Regardless of how you pay, it is critical that you do your best to pay on time regularly. To help you do so, try to:

  • Make your own reminders. Add due dates to your calendar or set up alerts on your phone.
  • Opt-in to alerts. Many creditors have automated emails or texts to notify you when bills are due or paid.
  • Create an “appointment” for yourself. Set aside an hour every month to review your bills. 

What if I cannot afford a bill?

Life happens, and sometimes you cannot afford to pay one or more bills. If that is the case, contact your creditors to find out what options are available for you. While they may not be able to help with a specific bill, local CAP agencies or other community groups have assistance programs that might help you. In addition, you may want to temporarily use an emergency budget to get caught up or connect with a financial counselor for advice.

Get Started with These Templates!

Copy the chart below in a note or spreadsheet, or check out budget templates from The Balance or NerdWallet.

Bills for Month: _____________

Due Date
Minimum Due
How much right now?
How much in total?
Payment Method

Money Management E-Newsletter: December 2021