How Do You Organize Your Bills, Payments, Fees, Savings Regarding Almost Everything in Life?

I know this is a very generic and general question that most of us know the answer to but honestly I have been looking at the way I have setup my payments and organised my bills and I just can't get rid of the feeling that I have not full optimised my current situation.

So for my own situation I only have a few bills which all got deducted from my main account with Westpac.

This includes

  • fortnightly rent (it is complicated but basically it is not a proper through a real estate agent or even tenant landlord kind of agreement but we kind of pretend that jokingly among ourselves.. it is about $200 to $300 in a shared living arrangement through let us just say the "church" and church friends haha lol like I said it is complicated but yeah I basically try to chip in my part for the bills anyways it is complex to go into but yeah I tried paying about $750 a month at one time but the owners said you only have to pay the same as the other guy and we know you have put in a lot of your own money into the house from repairs and groceries so only pay $500 now for everything yeah this is bound to change as who knows what the future may hold but yeah kind of in this as a team group kind of thing)
  • monthly internet and house phone bill about $70 + $10 (I personally don't need the land line but others do so we agreed to get a home bundle plan and this is the cheapest 50/20 and unlimited Australian national calls to landlines and mobiles I can find if we were to remove the house phone which most likely won't happen then I know there are some $55/month 50/20 unlimited nbn plans that pop up every once in awhile or at least $59.95 month 50/20 unlimited nbn plans)
  • monthly Xbox for game pass for pc (I just started and tried this from a recommendation from a friend and at $1 it seems good value but it is $4.95 every month after though may discontinue it if I don't see many games value for it or if it becomes $9.95 per month)
  • now on pause monthly Netflix basic standard plan for just myself around $10.95 IIRC might try find a family plan next time but I like to pause it every now and so so might end up costing more since you cannot really pause a family plan (I love Netflix from black mirror to movies from the past decade to stand up comedy and political shows but every month or so I take a break and do something else now when I get Netflix burnout)
  • prepaid mobile plan with boost 12 months $130 - $150 (will probably do this again next year 2020 March unless something more amazing pops up)
  • I got into a YouTube family premium group for $12 a year or $1 a month which is honestly the best thing I have on this list ok maybe the mobile plan is important too and the internet but yeah I could live on the streets with a YouTube family premium honestly haha it is so good those little things are worth it imho

so yeah that covers pretty much all my expenses for now.. I do want to help out my household more buying stuff for the house that we need and etc it is basically a community group effort kind of thing.. some contribute less than me which can be frustrating but I am 100% sure others are contributing more than me behind the scenes without us knowing so for that I thank them dearly and hope to pay it forward when I am in a better situation as life struggles are always present

Honestly besides food and work stuff I had to buy recently I think I don't have any other expenses.. no car yet that is also on the spotlight if I can figure out something really cheap and inexpensive might be good for work but for now work is thankfully near all the stations

I have considered Spotify but I actually enjoy the ads sometimes and can tolerate it.. the price is not worth it for me.. I am flexible when it comes to music if it is on it is on if it is off it is off meh

Netflix and Xbox game pass for PC are the truly optional ones on that list.. mainly only got them for others who I used to live with (many people pass through this place) so if someone expresses interest in something I try to accommodate.. Netflix was good for the whole household at one time and my housemate loves Xbox game pass more than life itself all he ever talks about so I got it eventually after few years of him telling me to get it lol

All my expenses are debited from one account

I have two other westpac e-saver accounts and when I get paid I send some money to one of them for now so I don't accidentally find myself with nothing from some unfortunate incident or whatever

The other westpac e-saver account is still empty not sure what to use it for might be a secondary savings account for something if I figure something else to save up for.. maybe a car? or if I find a girlfriend lol haha maybe a new PC who knows although my current PC is sufficient for now

So yeah how do you manage your expenses and income

Do you just have one account that you use for everything

I know some people have separate accounts for their mortgage, their car repayments and maybe even student loans I don't know I am interested to hear how everyone manages their finances and etc

For now I just have 1 main choice concession account and 2 westpac e-saver accounts and I think you can make as many e-saver accounts for free as you like but they can only hold funds and cannot be used like a normal transaction account to pay bills or even receive money like a normal transaction account only able to interact with your own other personal accounts

Thanks for reading this hope it was not too difficult to read have a nice day

Comments

  • +7 votes

    I run up all my bills on my credit card and then pay it off IN FULL at the end of every billing cycle.

    That means my money stays in my bank account (offsetting my mortgage) for as long as possible.

    • +3 votes

      And if you do it the right way you use a credit card that offers ridiculous sign up bonuses, hit the minimum spend for the bonus points, and earn points whilst doing so and then churn the card later.

      I do this typically every 6 months or so and amass a huge number of QFF points which we then use to fly at the pointy end of the aircraft from time to time.

      Whilst paying the card in full every month as well……that is the key.

      •  

        Don't some CC charge as Cash Advance tho? And some billers won't accept CC

        •  

          I've never had one that does. I don't believe they count as cash advances and every biller I have offers BPAY or PostPay so I just use that.

          Of course other peoples use cases may vary.

    • +1 vote

      Sorry I have never used a credit card before because I am unfamiliar with how exactly they work.

      So how do you pay off your credit card like do you click a link in your account to offset the balance or like yeah can you run me through the steps of how this works.

      So I know how you apply, sign up and use a credit card that part is easy but how do you pay it off is there a bank account you send money to directly at the end of every month or like do you link a bank account or debit card to your credit card and that auto pays off the bill every billing cycle like a home internet or home phone bill?

      Sorry for the stupid questions I just never got a credit card because it felt too risky and too many holes to fall into and accidentally rack up an insane bill like losing the card or something or accidentally swiping.

      • +1 vote

        You can BPay like all your other bills every month or you can just get them to direct debit your account when it is due. I do the latter, but I check my statements to see I don't get charged random stuff.

        •  

          Believe it or not I still don't understand BPay.

          Like what is it and does it cost anything to use or completely free to use and sign up?

          • +6 votes

            @AlienC: If you research it yourself and take the initiative , you'll learn more about finace than what people spoon feed you.

          •  

            @AlienC: Have you done internet banking before? Its similar, but bpay has companies with unique codes that pay your unique account at their company if you want such as
            "5352225276203541" which pays fishballs electricity bill for example.

            Its free and part of your internet banking package(which is also free once you sign up)

            Some companies charge money for credit card payments(2%?), but to my knowledge noone charges for BPay (could be wrong)

      • +1 vote

        losing the card or something or accidentally swiping

        O.o you can do that with a paywave debit card too…

        The best thing you can do is to familarise yourself with your bank and bank app features and functions.

  •  

    Besides the rent and food, it looks like you have monthly expenses of like $30-40? I wouldn't bother with a point earning credit card, or if you did grab the Coles no annual fee mastercard or similar.

    •  

      Yeah there is no point with me getting a point earning card unless it was free but last time I checked all this there was like some requirements you needed to pass like income level and some other bs.

  • +1 vote

    Generally I pay the bill as soon as i receive it &
    Have payments done through CC to obtain some points out of the transactions then pay off CC balance end of the month.

  •  

    So much text.

    Better check that your Westpac eSaver is giving you the best interest rate possible; as a fellow Westpac customer, mine is pathetic, so I keep mine in my UBank account, and just note how much each portion is e.g. for a balance of $5000, car expenses is $2000 and emergency is $3000

    • +1 vote

      Yeah for now it is fine since my savings are fairly low but when they start to accumulate into something more viable I will start researching all about different interest rates and what is required for me to do on the ATO Tax Reporting side of things.

      Trying to keep things simple as the next Financial Year Tax Reporting will probably be my first time reporting something decent above the tax threshold gap for previous years it was either non lodgement or didn't meet tax threshold requirements.

      Sorry for the wall of spam it is also mostly records for me in the future when I read back on this so I know where I was and what I was doing in my life so I tried to include as much information as possible that was somewhat relevant to me while also not being to spammy for the readers lol yeah I tend to write a dear diary sometimes.. haha lol (he actually does it all the time but let us give him this break ;D)

  •  

    Direct debit. We use credit card for everything shared and pay it later. Use our own accounts for personal purchases. Very simple.

  • +1 vote

    Do you just have one account that you use for everything

    I have an ING account for daily use. Within the account, 2 lots of debit + savings so I can keep my expenses and fun money separate.

    I have a Westpac account to build an emergency fund. Their account requires a minimum deposit per month to get the bonus rate and you will lose the bonus rate if you make a withdrawal. So far I've only made deposits and I'm aiming for at least 3 months of living expenses in that account.

    Westpac has no account keeping fees so I have an everyday account in case I need to deposit cash via ATM and transfer to my ING account rather than lining up and depositing at the post office.

    I know some people have separate accounts for their mortgage, their car repayments and maybe even student loans I don't know I am interested to hear how everyone manages their finances and etc

    I log all my spending in an exercise book. One row with how much I have much I have in cash, debit, e-gift cards, opal etc. Then a table below logging cash flow/expenditure and another table below noting major expenses/purchases. I keep my receipts in an envelope for things with reasonable value (e.g printer, shoes, bags, stationary etc) in case there are faults and I need to return them and for tax purposes.

  • +1 vote

    Generally if you want to keep things separate make sure they go in different accounts.

    Got Bank NO 1 card for mortgage
    Got Bank NO 2 card for everyday expenses
    Got Citibank card for foreign purchases.

    I monitor them using internet banking, and only pay monthly expenses on the BANK NO 2 cards.

    As for the other stuff, just pitch in what you feel you CAN pitch in and think is fair, try to find a group netflix that will charge you ~$60 for a one slot in a family premium plan

    Rethink if its you buying the xbox live thing for the group/general enjoyment or if its you buying it for mainly your housemate? Are they so annoying that you are spending the xbox live to shut them up? Why doesn't they just get it for themselves?

    Finally if you are not sure what you are saving up for…what are your goals in life? Become a millionaire? Travel? Kill the North Korean Emperor? Use that goal as a reason for you needing to save your money. Who knows, maybe one day you will save enough for that fancy F35 fighter jet and succeed!

  • +8 votes

    Are you in a cult?

  •  

    A real account and a buffer account

    Add a buffer value $$$ = month or 6 months worth of payments

    Direct credit the buffer with what you think is a fair thing for your housing and other expenses

    Set up direct debits on the buffer account to automate paying your expenses.. worse case scenario is you develop savings

    Splitwise app to capture expenses shared with others…. I use this with housemates and everything is easier

    I also budget food money into buffer and "tap n go" for purchases.

  • +1 vote

    Are you asking for banking advice, budgeting advice or both?

    Start researching a zero based budget (Dave Ramsey or Scott Pape), pay off your debts (if any), decrease you outgoings (do you need all the subscriptions?) and increase your income if possible.

    I’d set up some side accounts (online access only), an emergency cash fund $1000, a short term savings (holiday, car etc) and a longer term one - decent car, house deposit etc.

  • +1 vote

    Buy the book, The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape.
    Then read it cover to cover and apply what you learn.

  •  

    I have probably too many accounts.

    With one of the big 4, I've got two every day accounts and one point earning credit card. One of those accounts is purely used to receive money from friends/family and the other is my standard account that my pay goes into and money is spent from.
    I then have other accounts with a smaller institution. I've got 1 for bills, 1 for rent, 1 for my savings, 1 for joint spending and 1 for joint savings.
    All my accounts are fee-free so no risk in paying $5 monthly fee etc. It works well for me to split my money like this.

  • +2 votes

    I'll trade my accounts setup structure for your secret of getting YouTube premium for $12! ;)

    As mentioned above, check out http://barefootinvestor.com/book , there are a few good tips there.

    My setup:
    1. A Google spreadsheet with a list of all predictable expenses I will have in a year, broken down per month, especially large ones. Like school fees, council rates, electricity, water, internet, insurances, car rego/CTP. Sum it up, divide by 12 - that's the minimum I have to deposit into my Bills account monthly.
    2. 'Bills' account, currently with UBank. All bills listed in my Google spreadsheet are set up for direct debit from this account. The amount from point #1 gets deposited into this account directly from my paycheck. If there are any new type of bills during the year - I update the spreadsheet and setup a direct debit for that bill. The updated spreadsheet will also give me a new monthly amount, so the payments from the paycheck should also be updated. This, in combination with #1, makes sure that I always have cash available for large bills.
    3. Home loan: this one is easy, the monthly payment (plus a bit extra) goes there straight from my paycheck
    4. 'Fire extinguisher' account, about 15% of my paycheck automatically goes there. This is for unexpected tooth implants, surgeries, etc. I.e. something unexpected and relatively large that I'd struggled to pay for upfront. When I feel that the balance is over a 'safe enough' level - the "overflow" is used for larger discretionary spendings, like an overseas holiday.
    5. 'Daily spendings' account (ING Orange Everyday, the best account ever). This is for everything else, like shopping, groceries, eating out. Pretty much anything that is not in that spreadsheet. The remaining paycheck amount goes here. If the balance is low - the family is switching to sandwiches and whatever is in the freezer.

    •  

      I believe the trick for $12 a year YouTube premium is Indian YouTube family premium or something similar.

      I personally have no clue or smarts to do this so I hopped in a group and we all bank deposited to one guy or the family leader and he or she did ask the rest and just sent our email address or YouTube account and the rest is beautiful cheap YouTube family premium history.

      Considering this for Spotify but I can't remember how much the cheapest Spotify family premium is but I am on the lookout definitely if it is near as cheap to what I got for YouTube because $12 for one year of background play and off line downloading among other things like premium content is great.

      But being able to hand pick Spotify music would be dope but I can live with YouTube for music for now.. You get Google play music with the YouTube premium which I always forget which is great.

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