May 17, 2011 at 12:07 am #89596
AnonymousInactiveMay 17, 2011 at 12:07 amPost count: 14413
I’ve read a few posts about how people lose paperwork and end up getting into trouble because they didn’t pay their bills on time.
I have had this problem in the past too. So now, as soon as I receive a bill in the mail, I go on the internet and set up the payment online (we use TD Canada Trust EasyWeb). You can “warehouse” the payment by setting up the payment to come out of your account on the due date or earlier. I usually set it up to come out 1 or 2 business days early because I have had the problem that the payment didn’t clear my bank and the payee in time and I got dinged with a late payment fee – not worth the hassle of going back to my bank to complain.
If I don’t deal with the paperwork right away, I have the same problem, it gets buried in piles of paperwork and forgotten until it’s too late. Once I got dinged because I forgot to put the license plate sticker on my license plate before the end of the expiry month and a police officer noticed it at like 1 minute after midnight the next month 😥
The only payments I have trouble with are the ones that can’t be set up in advance, like renewing driver’s license or ownership. For example, I am self-employed, and I have to make instalment payments for personal income tax and for GST/HST for my business. I’ve been claiming a loss for a few years but last year was profitable, so I paid tax. Now I find out that I have to pay instalments and I was too late for the first one. So I have to make the next payment as early as the first one was late (did that make sense?) so I won’t owe any interest. These type of payments cannot be set up online with the bank. I am not comfortable with sending the government a post-dated cheque because I have to make sure the $$ is there at the right time.
I am also not very good about paying attention to the calendar for appointments and things so I am kind of worried about making these payments. Does anyone have a suggestion on how I might remember these? I really need someone else to remind me when it’s getting close to the deadline. Is there an online service that is reliable that could send me an email or a postcard when the deadline is coming up? (like my dentist, they send postcards and call me the week before)REPORT ABUSEMay 17, 2011 at 1:29 am #104130
nellieMemberMay 17, 2011 at 1:29 amPost count: 596
Well I have the same problem and so when possible I pay bills in full when I first get them even if it is payable in instalments, say like a municipal tax bill – but I know that’s not exactly what you are after and that this is not always possible. I use Canada Post e-post reminders as well.
In terms of remembering to do it in the first place, this was always a big issue for me too. It all really boils down to remembering to check the agenda or calendar, which lately I’ve been much better at. I just decided it was important to me to be organized in order to feel calm and in control and achieve harmony in my life. Since I have tied it to one of my core values it has become more automatic as opposed to looking at it as only something I to do “because I have to .” Hope that the explanation makes sense because I find the core values aspect is really key to putting most things in perspective. And trust me, I’ve had to pay my share of “stupid fines” thanks to my out of sight out of mind filing/piling issues!REPORT ABUSEMay 17, 2011 at 2:04 am #104131
AnonymousInactiveMay 17, 2011 at 2:04 amPost count: 14413
Thanks, Nellie. The list of mailers (payees) looks to be quite a bit smaller than that offered by TD Canada Trust and I still don’t see Receiver General on the list.
Being a former accountant, I still do prefer to handle a piece of paper (even if I misplace it) and I really hate downloading from Bell Canada (for some reason I’ve had issues with their website), so I’ll have to think about it. The problem with going paperless is that it’s not acceptable by Canada Revenue Agency – their rules state that if you use a computer program for accounting purposes, you must maintain a paper backup as well as an electronic backup. I’m not sure what they would say about Canada Post’s electronic storage.
Looking at the calendar is still a big problem for me right now, I forget to do it because I am so distracted by all the other things I see or want to do. I mean well, but I just can’t follow up on a consistent basis. What you’re saying makes good sense but I’m not able to do it at the moment. On the big questionnaire I handed in last week at my second ADHD consultation, I wrote “I’m the greatest person in the world at making lists and schedules, but the worst person in the world at acting on them”. Hoping to become better at it, but I’m not there yet.
As for paying some bills in full, we do that with insurance payments for the house and car(s). Even though there is an instalment option (and we can set the instalments up on the banking website), it’s harder for us to pay attention to the bank balance. I really don’t like giving the bank $50 or whatever it is for an overdraft and yes, I’ve done it a few times. Ouch!REPORT ABUSEMay 17, 2011 at 4:57 am #104132
nellieMemberMay 17, 2011 at 4:57 amPost count: 596
Well, what about a bookkeeper who is more detail oriented than you are? I assume the hourly charge would be a lot cheaper than an accountant and worth the peace of mind that someone is tending to the mundane yet necessary. I find it amusing that you are an accountant I must say. I too was an accounting major in university but soon realized that would probably not be the most wise career path. Ironically I did freelance bookkeeping though during university for a guy who had just started his own business but was quite paperwork challenged. The funny thing was when I actually finished my work it was well done according to the accounting firm that did the audit but just kinda late all the time Who knew…..REPORT ABUSEMay 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm #104133
AnonymousInactiveMay 17, 2011 at 2:00 pmPost count: 14413
Yes, I kind of blew my ADHD specialist’s theory that we couldn’t be accountants. I really hate the boring part of it, actually that is true about any job I’ve had, I’d always do more than I was supposed to because just doing what I was supposed to was boring. I do everything from A to Z in my business (self-employed entrepeneur) and I like it that way. Every day is pretty exciting!
I’ll think about a bookkeeper, thanks for the suggestion. I’m still going to have a look for a company that would send me reminders for important things like that. I also forget to book doctor’s appointments, car service appointments, etc. Hopeless!REPORT ABUSEMay 17, 2011 at 2:01 pm #104134
AnonymousInactiveMay 17, 2011 at 2:01 pmPost count: 14413
It’s funny, right now I am sitting at the phone waiting to call at 10 am to sign up for something I only heard about yesterday. If it had been tomorrow that I’d have to call, I’d have forgotten about it!REPORT ABUSEMay 17, 2011 at 2:27 pm #104135
munchkinMemberMay 17, 2011 at 2:27 pmPost count: 285
I’ve never really been able to keep a checking account balanced because I forget about checks that are pending. If I can’t see exactly what my balance is at all times, I get completely screwed up. After serious legal problems, I stopped using checks. If I could just get a large enough balance in the account to allow for mistakes, maybe I could try again. In the meantime, I have a bills list. When a bill comes in, I immediately open it, and write down the creditor, amount and due date on my list. Then, whenever I get paid, I pay everything on the list by getting money orders and mailing them in. The money orders are drawn from my acct immediately, so there are no pending transactions to confuse me. The list works because even if I misplace the bill, I can still just look up the payment address online and mail the payment in with my own envelope. Unfortunately I lost the list when I was cleaning up for guests to come over – but persistence! I have started a new list, and if there are any bills that fell thruogh the cracks, I will get a late notice and be frustrated, but at least I will get right back on track. Important to get right back on that horse!!! 😆REPORT ABUSEMay 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm #104136
AnonymousInactiveMay 17, 2011 at 3:14 pmPost count: 14413
You might consider online banking. Not only do you see what your balance is, but there’s a pending payments list so you can see what payments are “warehoused” and to whom and for how much. You can still make payments right away if you want (who makes interest on deposits anymore?)
Occasionally when it gets tight (a lot of payments happen around the last Wed or Thurs of each month, when my husband’s pension deposit takes place), I use Excel (a spreadsheet) to show the current balance, what bills will be coming out, and what the balance is. If it’s positive by more than a reasonable cushion (say $200), I do nothing. If it’s less than that or negative, I have to transfer funds into the chequing account.
I stopped mailing payments because you never know when the post office is going to screw things up.REPORT ABUSEMay 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm #104137
AnonymousInactiveMay 17, 2011 at 3:52 pmPost count: 14413
Have just tried out a few online reminder services and here’s what worked and what didn’t:
1. Rememberthemilk.com – not ADHD friendly! I could create an account just fine but I could not figure out how to edit a task for date and time to send, so I cancelled my account.
2. hassleme.co.uk – I like this one, I set up a reminder for every 5 days to clean the toilet (and one for my husband to clean the bathtub). They send these roughly every x days and they are random non-predictable reminders. Very cool if it works!
3. memotome.com – looked good but they never sent me the reminder – still waiting!
4. lettermelater.com – this one actually worked. I got an email exactly when they said they were going to send it. I called the organization back that I wanted to register with for a workshop and I’m registered! Yay!REPORT ABUSEMay 17, 2011 at 11:55 pm #104138
nellieMemberMay 17, 2011 at 11:55 pmPost count: 596
Hey #2 and 4 sound cool, going to go check it out!REPORT ABUSEMay 18, 2011 at 2:28 am #104139
nellieMemberMay 18, 2011 at 2:28 amPost count: 596
Well, signed up for both hassleme.com and lettermelater.com.
I can see some really interesting possibilities with lettermelater.com. The idea of sending emails at pre-arranged times is a great idea for some of the projects I’m involved in that require various follow-up emails. I’m always get enthused at the beginning of projects and intend to send out emails at a later date to remind people of stuff etc.but often when the time comes to do so other more urgent things are also in the works or the original enthusiasm isn’t there anymore, so the whole thing becomes a chore. By pre-writing them when I’m still in the mood it would eliminate the later hassles. I don’t even have to address them to the intended party (s) but instead email them to myself incase some detail changes.
Glad you found this no_dopamine!REPORT ABUSEMay 18, 2011 at 1:18 pm #104140
AnonymousInactiveMay 18, 2011 at 1:18 pmPost count: 14413
You probably won’t like hassleme as much because it’s like nagging, but I’m hoping it will help my husband and I keep on top of some of the home maintenance things that get ignored because we are doing more interesting stuff (ie – distracted). And it’s not ME nagging this time. I’ve even got it set up to remind me to go outside for a walk every day, will be interesting to see when it reminds me!
I used to use the delayed sending features of Lotus email when I was still working for a big corp, really missed it. The minor downside of lettermelater.com is that you have to buy a subscription for $20 US a year if you send more than 30 emails a month. But if it works, I won’t mind paying that – it’s way cheaper than paying a real person to do it!REPORT ABUSEMay 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm #104141
Curlymoe115MemberMay 18, 2011 at 5:48 pmPost count: 206
As a business owner I take it you have a cell phone. Why not just put a reminder for the day before into your cell phone and let it remind you. Along with the note there is also a memo line that you can put the amount. As for quarterly payments to the government you can also put a post dated payment into the on-line banking up to a year ahead for most banks and you can put an amount. If the money is not in the account you can always change the amount or the date as needed before the payment comes out. You may also want to set up a separate account where you throw the money into this account on a weekly or monthly basis based on what your accounting program is telling you is due.
Most banks let you pay just about every payment that is needed for Canada. American payments have to actually be sent at this point but they are working on changing this. This also serves as a 7 year proof that the payment was made and no need for redundant paperwork. I also use one-note to “print” everything to so that I don’t actually need a paper copy of things like this but it can be printed off as a paper copy whenever it is needed. I also use E-Post for paperless bill payments and this lets me put a not about payments and I just archive them every month along with the transaction number so that I don’t have to look elsewhere. I only have 3 bills that are due every month. The other things are set up for automatic debit for the same day or the following Monday so it helps me keep track of everything. If you apply for overdraft it only costs you a few cents if you misjudge and the money comes out anyway. Most banks are willing to provide this service to keep a customer.REPORT ABUSEMay 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm #104142
sdwaParticipantMay 18, 2011 at 5:59 pmPost count: 363
If you have Outlook for your email or calendar, you can use the task list and also set an alarm reminder, including for recurring tasks or appointments.
Calendars don’t work for me if I can’t see them – so I got a dry-erase calendar which I put next to my work space at home. Then I can see what’s coming up for the whole month. (That said, it took days before I could face paying a bill online that I had to log in to pay, because I constantly forget my passwords, and knew I’d have to create a new one, and can’t ever think of good ones. I’m afraid to do automatic bill-pay because I might over-commit. I have no idea how much money is in my account. I’m afraid to look.)
Some credit card companies will send your statement via email.
I really need to SEE what has to happen, where it needs to take place, where I’m going to be, and visual cues help the most. Others might like alarms or bells (but for me, I just forget the noise as soon as it stops – but I remember feeling annoyed by it!)REPORT ABUSEMay 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm #104143
Curlymoe115MemberMay 18, 2011 at 6:04 pmPost count: 206
P.S. This winter I paid a set amount for each of my bills regardless of what was due and this summer I will not have these 3 bills at all. I will start paying again in September so instead we will use this same money to get out and do things with money that I was spending anyway. I learned this the hard way last year when we ran into some difficulty and they cut everything off. Now they actually owe me money. Yeah me. I look at this as a huge break through so I have been patting myself on the back. And with the savings from the late payments and penalties this meant that it didn’t cost all that much more then what I was paying every few months. I used the on-line payments to schedule the payments to come out on the closest pay day to the due date. Before I only counted the bills that came out automatically as the cost of the house and only paid the utilities and cable when the pink notices came in the mail. So we spent more than we were making and then ended up scrambling to find bill money. Now I count everything along with the extra we are paying. So instead of penalties of 90 or 100 every couple of months I can use this money for other things and there is absolutely no stress because I just count this into the equations at the beginning. But I bet the utilities are missing the extra 550 bucks a year.REPORT ABUSE
Paying Bills on Time2011-05-17T00:07:32+00:00
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