Moving into Your New Place
Tips on Paying Bills

Tips on Paying Bills

1. Open a checking account.

This allows you to pay by check, automatically, or online instead of using money orders and gives you verification of payment, in the case of a dispute.

2. Pay online.

Online banking and bill paying, which most banks offer, makes bill paying really fast and easy. Plus you save the cost of postage, and in some cases envelopes!

3. Use ďAutomatic PaymentĒ when available.

Some companies, like Cascade Natural Gas and State Farm insurance, offer automatic payment withdrawal from your checking account. The exact payment is withdrawn on the same date each month. This is very convenient, unless you forget to write the payment in your checkbook! Write down all your automatic payments and check each month to make sure you deducted the amount from your check book to keep it balanced!

4. Create a budget, and stick to it.

Make a list of all your expenses, including food, coffee, gas, and entertainment. Then calculate how much money you have coming in, and make sure you have enough coming in each month to cover all your expenses. If you donít, figure out what you can cut back on. Itís not a good idea to skip a payment here and there, because that can ruin your credit rating, making it difficult for you to get loans or buy a car or a house in the future.

5. Create a schedule.

Map out when you should pay your bills each month. Try to narrow down your bill paying to a couple of times a month.

6. Mail bills early.

Mail your bills at least a week before their due date. Donít be late! Some bills, especially credit card bills, charge enormous late fees (to the tune of $30 or more!) as well as interest on unpaid balances. Also, some companies report your late payments to credit agencies, and this can damage your credit score.

7. Financial aid can help.

Federal and state financial aid can be used to pay for rent and utilities expenses off campus. In fact, Western's Financial Aid Office automatically includes a standard allowance for the room and board expenses incurred by student aid applicants, regardless of whether they live on or off campus. Tip: students who must drive more than 150 miles per week to and from Western to attend classes may seek consideration for additional financial aid by filing a revision request form with the Financial Aid Office. Learn more at http://www.finaid.wwu.edu