09 November 2007

Note monthly class payments in your calendar

Here's how Kirsten remembers those pesky class fees:

Now that my daughter participates in a couple of activities (dance and piano) that require monthly payments, I've started writing the amount due on the calendar for the first class of the month (ex:  T-dance-$34)  That way I don't forget how much it is, and remember to send a check with her on that day.

I've also discovered the miracle that is online bill-pay. You can schedule recurring payments, and your bank will send a check each month. Just specify the amount, the recurrence, and the end date, and you never have to think about it again. This is how I pay preschool tuition -- it's lovely and mindless.

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Yes - love the Kirsten idea! I am putting my daycare amount on my calendar right now.

I like the idea of the bill pay, but am always too worried that not looking at my account will mean that one of the checks will bounce. Maybe some day I will get brave enought to do it (or have so much cash that my balance is always really high.....sigh...)

Could you have posted this one BEFORE we got the late notice from the preschool today? And they have a hefty $25 late fee. Ouch! We'll look into automatic bill pay for them right away! I already have it on the calendar....

I have all my monthly bills on my Outlook calendar- you can set the reminder to pop up X number of days in advance so that you can get a check in the mail on time or get the payment to daycare on the right day. (Although I like to manually pay bills online, I'm just not comfortable enough with my book keeping to set them to pay automatically- I envy those of you who can!)

Just as a warning: my father's best friend had his bills set on automatic payment and, one month, it accidentally paid his mortgage twice. Just a regular computer glitch. But, having his mortgage payment deducted twice right when all his other bills were due resulted in all but two of his other bills bouncing that month. So then he was hit with all the bounced check fees, the late payment fees and it took him two months to get his mortgage lender to acknowledge the double payment and pay him back.

That whole thing put the fear of god in me about auto-payment so we just set warnings and make the actual payments ourselves.

You could also check with your local community college for FREE classes. That takes care of the whole payment thing all together. I'm in California and we have a state program called First 5. All the classes are FREE. Well swimming is a $10 "donation", but otherwise all FREE. There are some other community groups that offer free classes as well. Also some of the local Mom's groups organize classes at a cheaper rate...ON A MORE RELEVANT NOTE: I've used bill pay for probably 10 years and have never had a problem.

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