So, I’m scrambling to write three blog posts for class today because I put it off all week because I forgot, was tired or just thought I had more time. And yes, I know the title of this post is so cheesy it’s almost sickening, but I want to talk about how even though you can procrastinate for class, you can’t really do that with finances.
As the sole bill payer for my group of roommates, procrastinating isn’t something that I can really do when I have to pay up. I usually wait until I have the money to avoid overdrawing my account, but I have to keep a close eye on pay days and due dates. I started paying my bills online because I’m old school and actually prefer mailing a check, but it seems to be easier and faster to pay online, at least that’s what I thought.
On Aug. 22 I paid my gas bill that was due Aug. 27 online. Aug. 27 was a Tuesday, which means I was in class from 5 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. While I was sitting in my five o’clock class, the gas company emailed me to tell me my payment was rejected. Because I was in class and didn’t receive the email until I got home around 10 p.m., my payment was going to be late.
I hopped online and checked my bank account to double check I had the money and I had plenty. So, I repaid the bill and called the gas company first thing in the morning. They explained that I had entered my account number for the gas company instead of for my bank account, which is why the first payment was rejected and because I still paid it on the due date, it wasn’t late. However, I was never so scared of getting a late fee in my life.
How absolutely horrible, a late fee.
But, even if you don’t have a brain fart and put the wrong number in the account section while paying your online bill, a late fee could be a reality when paying bills. They can add up quickly, especially on credit cards. I’m sure most of you know that you need to pay credit card bills on time or else the interest will skyrocket and a late fee will make you need to get another credit card just to pay for the last one (logical, right?).
If you’re not a pro at keeping track of what day it is (let’s be honest if it wasn’t for our phones we wouldn’t even know what month it is, let alone the day), lifehacker.com wrote an article about how to avoid late fees by batching your bills. Check it out here: http://lifehacker.com/5439703/avoid-late-fees-by-batching-your-bills.
Don’t be afraid to set reminders on your phone to pay your bills. Using a white board is a great way to keep your roommates up to date on when to pay you for bills or when the bills are do. Don’t ever tell your roommates to pay you on the day the bill is due because they might not get you the money in time or they won’t have it. Always have a few days of a grace period between your roommates paying you and the bill’s due date.
How do you avoid late fees? Feel free to share in the comments.