According to recent reports, the average household credit card debt stands at $15,698 that includes only those households that carry debt. Based on an analysis of statistics by the Federal Reserve and other government data, the average household owes $7283 on their credit cards, looking only at the indebted households. As of December, 2014, the average household credit card debt owed by the average household is $15,698, the average mortgage debt is $154,847 and the average student loan debt is $32,397. In total American consumers owe $11.71 trillion in debt, which saw an increase of 3.8% from 2013, $881.8 billion in credit card debt, $8.13 trillion in mortgages and $1126 billion in student loans, which saw a total increase of 9.6% from last year.
What causes this unnatural rise in consumer debt in America?
Experts have always been wondering about the reasons behind the burgeoning consumer debt in the nation. Forgetting to pay your bills on time, not controlling the total number of credit cards in your wallet, overcharging on your cards, carrying balance from one month to another, are some of the reasons of rising credit card debt among households and individuals. But what is the way out? How will people restrain their expenses and stay out of credit card debt? Initially, organizing and simplifying bill paying is the main step that one should take to remember the payments and pay them on time. Read on the rest of the article to know more on the tips to organize and simplify bill-paying.
Expert tips to get your bills organized and pay them on time
How many of you often forget about or lose an important bill? How many of you end up wasting money on late-fees and penalties due to your own mistakes, not to mention the anxiety that comes with such disorganization of bills! If you’re desperately looking for some help, here are some expert tips on how you can simplify bill paying and pay bills on time so as to avoid credit card debt.
- Organize your bills: Keep all your pending bills in a designated area. Keep checking your mail and as soon as your mail arrives, sort through the mail, thereby separating your pending bills from all the other junk mails that fill your inbox. When sorting is done, immediately place all your pending bills in an envelope, pending bills basket and pocket folder.
- Don’t separate each pending bill in a separate folder: Whatever step you take, make sure you don’t put your utility bills in one folder, your car insurance bill in another and your membership fees bill in another. All the pending bills should be kept together in an envelope, so that they can be paid on time without having to search at different places to find them out.
- Designate two or four days for bill payment: When you receive a mail in your inbox and you need to pay it immediately, you might have to drop most of your daily chores. But if you’re a bit organized, you can avoid such a mess. Designate 2-4 days per month to pay all your bills on those days. There are families that pay their bills on the 8th and the 22nd of each month. You too may do the same or you can choose one day per week too.
- Immediately record all your paid bills: As soon as you pay each bill, immediately record the payment in your check register or computer software register. Don’t wait to do this later as if you do so, there are good chances that you will forget and once you forget, you may have to waste time and money dealing with the overdrawn account fees.
- Place the paid receipts into the file folders: Once you pay down your bills, mark the section of the invoice with the Date Paid, Amount Paid and the Check Number. Then file each of them into the appropriate folder, with one pocket for each i.e. Utilities, Insurance, Visa, MasterCard and so on.
- Condense all your credit cards: The more are the number of credit cards, the more difficult it will be to keep them organized and the longer it will take to pay down your bills. Whenever it is possible for you, condense all your credit cards into 2-3 cards and get rid of the rest of them.
Therefore, if you wish to pay down your bills on time and avoid taking out debt consolidation loans to combine your bills into one single payment, you can follow the expert tips mentioned above. If needed, you can get help of your financial advisor so that he/she may help you keep track of your bills and organize them on time. Remember that late-fees and penalties are an unnecessary burden on your wallet.