7 Tips to Keep Track of Bills and Payments

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how to keep track of bills and payments
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Recent statistics reveal that 34% of Americans face challenges in managing their finances. Keeping track of bills and payments often induces stress and feelings of overwhelm. However, implementing practical tips and strategies can make this process more manageable. This article offers valuable insights to empower you to control your financial situation.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Managing bills and payments is vital for financial well-being and reducing stress.
  2. Strategies like listing bills, integrating them into calendars, and setting reminders help in effective bill tracking.
  3. Prioritizing emergency savings is crucial for financial stability and mental peace, necessitating a significant portion of monthly budgets.

1. Create a Comprehensive List of Bills

Making a list of bills to pay is one of the best tips to keep track of bills and payments. To make an effective list, start by gathering details about your bills. This includes the biller’s name, amount due, due date, and frequency of the bill. Once you have this information, create a spreadsheet or a table to list all the bills you must pay.

Be thorough and account for all expenses when creating your list of bills. Include those paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually. Common bills include rent or mortgage payments, utilities, credit cards, insurance, subscriptions, and loan payments. Consider organizing your list by due date to quickly see which bills must be paid first.

bills and payments list

Knowing exactly how much you need to pay monthly can aid in setting a budget based on your income and expenses. It also lets you identify areas where you can reduce expenses and save money. For example, if you notice that your utility bill is higher than usual, you can find ways to reduce your energy usage and lower your bill.

Pro Tip: Prioritize building up your emergency savings, which can significantly impact your financial stability and mental well-being. In a recent Bankrate survey, 56% of the respondents noted that not having enough emergency savings negatively affected their mental health. So, don’t forget to allocate a substantial portion of your monthly budget to your emergency fund for better preparedness.

2. Integrate Bills Into Your Calendar

Once you have your list of bills, add them to your calendar for enhanced organization and to ensure you get all the payment deadlines. Start by creating a separate calendar for your bills and expenses. This lets you keep track of them and avoid cluttering your calendar. You can use a digital calendar like Google Calendar or a physical whiteboard calendar or planner to create your bill calendar.

When your bill calendar is all set, start adding your bills. Include the biller’s name, the amount due, and due date. Having your bills in your calendar can help you plan your budget and manage your cash flow efficiently. Moreover, knowing when your bills are due allows you to plan your spending and ensure you have enough money to cover your expenses.

Pro Tip: Consider using different colors to distinguish between bills. For example, you can use red for bills due soon and green for the ones already paid. This will make it easier to see which bills need your immediate attention and which have been taken care of.

3. Set Payment Reminders

Apart from putting them on your calendar, you can also set reminders to alert you a few days before the bill is due. Reminders will give you enough time to prepare and pay on time. There are several ways to set notifications and keep track of bills and payments, including apps, calendars, and physical tools like sticky notes and alarms.

  • Reminders on a calendar app: Set reminders using the calendar app on your smartphone or computer. All you need to do is create an event for each bill and set a reminder on or before the due date to ensure timely payments.
  • Bill payment app: These apps send notifications when a bill is due or overdue. They can also be customized to send prompts via email, text message, or push notification. If you’re looking for a reliable and worry-free bill payment app, try Cushion.ai. Cushion.ai sends automatic bill updates to your calendar so you never miss a payment.
  • Sticky notes: Keep track of bills and payments for free with sticky notes if you still want a visual reminder. Simply write the biller’s name, amount due, and due date. Then, stick it on your fridge or computer monitor.
  • Alarm: Set alarms on your phone or clock for bill payments, especially for bills due on different days. This proactive approach ensures timely payments, helping you avoid late fees and penalties.
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4. Enroll in Autopay Services

Putting bills on autopay is an excellent way to simplify your financial life and keep track of bills and payments. It is a convenient and secure payment method as the system automatically deducts the amount paid from your bank account or credit card on the due date every month. This eliminates the need to remember deadlines, the risk of late payment fees, or the negative impact on your credit score due to missed payments.

To set up autopay, you will typically need to give your payment account details to the service provider, whether online, over the phone, or through an app. Once enrolled, you can monitor your payments and adjust the settings as necessary. Some providers may allow you to choose the payment amount, frequency, and the account from which the payment is deducted. You can cancel autopay anytime if you prefer to make payments manually.

Important Note: While autopay can be a convenient way to manage your bills, regularly reviewing your statements is essential to ensure accuracy and avoid unexpected charges.

bills payments tracker sheet

5. Use Expense Tracker Sheets

Expense tracker sheets are an effective way to keep track of your bills and payments. They offer a simple and organized way to record expenses, monitor spending, and stay on top of bills. You can use them in various formats, like printable templates and digital spreadsheets.

These sheets typically require you to input the expense details, such as the expense name, amount spent, date of transaction, and expense category. Customize these categories to suit your needs, which may typically include groceries, transportation, entertainment, and more. With this tracker, you can easily see how much you spend on each category and pinpoint areas where you can cut back on your expenses.

Beyond expense tracking, incorporating bills into these sheets facilitates easy identification of due dates and prevents missed payments. Additionally, these sheets prove valuable for setting budgets and optimizing cash flow management. By understanding your spending habits and financial allocations, you can make informed decisions to enhance your overall financial well-being.

6. Explore Budgeting or Money Management Apps

If you do not want to manually create an expense tracker on a spreadsheet, you can opt for budgeting or money management apps to keep track of your bills and payments. These apps help you manage your finances effectively by providing a comprehensive overview of your spending habits and financial goals. They offer several features, including:

  • Tracking expenses in real-time: See how much you are spending on various categories, such as food, entertainment, and transportation, among others.
  • Setting budgets for each category: You can set your budget for a specific category and stay within your financial limit.
  • Sending alerts on due dates: When a due date is coming, these apps can send you alerts to avoid late payments and associated fees.

One of the best apps to keep track of bills and payments is Cushion.ai. This app consolidates and organizes your bills, tracks what’s been paid and what’s due next, and provides credit-building opportunities. With Cushion, you can sync your bills to your Google Calendar with one click.

cushion ai calendar sync feature

7. Schedule When to Keep Track of Bills and Payments

Scheduling specific times to track your bills and payments is crucial to ensure you stay on top of your finances. Here are a few ideal times when you can check your bills and expenses to ensure everything is in order:

  • When the expenses happen: Review your bank or credit card statement immediately after purchasing to ensure accuracy and detect any fraudulent charges. Addressing discrepancies promptly helps prevent overspending.
  • At the end of each day: Allocate time each day to verify transactions, update your budget, and make necessary adjustments, especially if you make multiple purchases daily. This practice catches errors early and avoids last-minute financial stress.
  • Once per week: Schedule a weekly session to review expenses, plan the upcoming week’s budget, and alleviate daily money worries. This proactive approach ensures timely bill payments and clarifies the available funds for the week ahead.

Pro Tip: Make bill tracking a team effort by inviting your spouse, partner, or roommate to join in. Working together can help you stay accountable and ensure that bills are paid on time. Additionally, it can strengthen your relationship by fostering open communication about finances. You can even turn it into a fun activity by creating a colorful chart or spreadsheet.


Keeping track of bills and payments is an essential aspect of financial management. By making a list, adding them to your calendar, and setting reminders, you can ensure you never miss a payment and stay on top of your finances. Tracking your expenses can also identify areas to cut back and save money. With these tips and strategies, you can effectively manage your bills and payments and improve your financial stability.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I keep track of money easily?

Track your money easily using the envelope system, where you assign different categories of expenses to separate envelopes and allocate a fixed amount of cash for each category. Another option is using digital spreadsheets like Excel, Google Sheets, or other budgeting apps to track your money. These tools let you create a budget, monitor your expenses, and analyze your spending habits. Some apps even allow automatic transaction categorization, goal-setting, and alerts to help you stay on top of your finances.

What is the best app to keep track of bills?

Cushion is one of the most efficient apps to monitor your bills and payments. It consolidates and organizes your bills, keeps track of what’s been paid and what’s due next, syncs your updates to your calendar in real-time, and provides you with opportunities to build your credit.

How do I organize my bills on my calendar?

Organize your bills on your calendar by creating reminders for each on the due date. You can use a calendar app like Google or Apple Calendar to schedule these reminders. You can also color-code your bills to make them easily identifiable and distinguishable from other events on your calendar. Additionally, you can set up recurring reminders for bills on the same day each month, such as rent or mortgage payments.

Last Updated on February 02, 2024
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this website is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice. Consult with a financial professional for personalized guidance regarding your specific situation.

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