How far ahead are you on your bills?

dclpluto

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 11, 2012
When covid started effecting the USA last year and things shut down at work we went from working overtime to only getting about 32 hours a week. Lasted for about 6 weeks. Told myself when things get back to normal I’m going to get ahead on all of my bills. Right now I have a lot of my bills paid ahead. A lot from 6-12 months ahead. It’s so nice seeing your bill come in and seeing no payment due you have a credit of $$$ or even some $$$$. Should of done this years ago. It’s so very easy to get ahead. I did all of this in just over a years time. You never know when something is going to happen. I could go on disability which I might have to soon knee problem and not have to worry about paying any of my bills. Plus always save for retirement of course. I recommend a minimum of 15 percent. Some people will say your losing that little interest just put the extra in your bank and get the little interest. What do you like to do? I will like to get everything paid a year ahead of time than hold steady and keep it about a year. Do you get ahead on your bills?
 

dclpluto

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 11, 2012
Mortgage, ok fine. But why on earth would you pay ahead on anything else? If the poop hits the fan, you can cancel, reduce or sell almost anything else. Why give the companies your money to hold when you could be making even a small amount of interest?
the Interest will be too small to even worry about. If the poop hits the fan I won’t have to worry about my bills. One less thing to worry about if and when something happens.
 

mjkacmom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
I do have several set up for monthly automatic payments, sometimes I have a credit after returning something.
 

MICKIMINI

Love the Mouse!
DVC Premium
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
We are ahead by prepaying fuel, electric, life insurance, auto ins, grocery GC's and all WDW tix including Boo Bash for F & W (4 people), DIS GC's to pay for at least two people's meals for the trip...adding on all the time with cash back. I'm even ahead by about 20% on DVC MF's for 2022. Everything bill gets paid immediately if not ahead. I pay CC's before they are due but leave a few small balances then pay off when the bill hits (good for your credit score).

We use CC's for anything and everything trying to get 5% or whatever deal is out there which helps us pay ahead with cash back. It forces you to rethink your budget but there is a huge sense of satisfaction that goes with it. I track all my cash back which just makes me happy and pays for a significant part of our vacations!

Start small and keep at it! :teacher:
 

Marionnette

Children see magic because they look for it
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
Our electricity and oil bills are on the budget plan. Sometimes we're ahead. Sometimes we're behind. It all even out in the end. When it comes time to reconcile once a year we either end up with a small credit or we owe an additional, small payment.

If we had a mortgage, you can bet that I would be throwing extra cash at it. But paying double this month doesn't help you out if you need to skip a payment later.

As for everything else, I'd rather have cash in the bank for emergencies than prepay any of our other bills. We even pay our homeowners and car insurance monthly instead of quarterly.
 

robinb

DIS veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 1999
When we had a mortgage we paid extra every month to get ahead and pay off the loan faster. I do not see any need to get ahead of anything else. I would rather keep the money liquid in a bank account than have it tied up with companies in advance. If the poop hits the fan, that gives me more options on who and what I would want to pay and when I would want to pay them. Some bills are more important than others in the poop/fan scenario and having emergency savings allow you to choose who to pay. If you're ahead on your electric bill, for instance, you no longer have the option to get behind on it to spend the money on groceries and negotiate a payment plan when the poop is no longer hitting the fan.
 
  • DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    Yeah, no. I won't do this. I hold onto my money until the due date of every bill I pay. Almost all of them are on auto pay so I'm not worried about missing or late payments, but I will certainly not prepay any of my bills. That just gives you a false sense of your actual monthly spend.
     

    MrsPete

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2002
    Mortgage, ok fine. But why on earth would you pay ahead on anything else? If the poop hits the fan, you can cancel, reduce or sell almost anything else. Why give the companies your money to hold when you could be making even a small amount of interest?
    Agree. Having X amount of emergency money available is a great idea -- we've just seen all sorts of problems arise in the last year and a half. If you're sick /laid off /whatever, having money in an emergency fund means you won't be late on your water bill or unable to buy groceries. That's smart.

    But committing those funds to the electric company isn't such a great idea. Since it's rare for people to do this, you risk them making a clerical error /not crediting you. And what if you move /change companies? Or if you want to stop using a certain service; for example, we had cable for years, but now we use streaming services. No, I see no benefit in actually giving "early money" to any bills.
    I do have several set up for monthly automatic payments, sometimes I have a credit after returning something.
    The one bill you really don't want to pay late is your credit card bill -- ouch, the interest. I read somewhere it's smart to set up an automatic online payment every month -- enough to cover your minimum payment in case something weird happens (like you don't get your bill, or you get put on a ventilator with Covid). Then each month instead of paying your bill, you go in and change that automatic payment to your actual bill amount.
    I don't do it, but it's a pretty good idea.

    Paying your mortgage payment ahead is a good idea too because it cuts down on future interest; however, as someone else pointed out: Paying additional principle today along with your July payment does not excuse you from making your August payment.
     

    georgina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    If it makes you feel good, go for it. It's kind of like people overpaying their taxes so they can get a big refund. Not my thing. Of course we are retired and I know what our monthly income will be. Credit cards and utilities all on autopay. I do get gift cards at a discount sometimes, (restaurants, CVS, Home Depot, Target, Disney and Universal) so that is like prepaying I guess. But there is a 5-15% discount involved or I wouldn't do it.
     
  • loves to dive

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2011
    I'm debt free and semi-retired. I pay my monthly bills like cell phone when due and pay off my cc every month. I usually round up to the nearest dollar on my monthly bills and my cc bill. Have no mortgage or car payment, both paid off.
     

    stephk1981

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2013
    We aren't ' prepaid ' on anything😳. We no longer have student loans though🥰. We do pay extra into DH retirement, they match up to a certain amount etc. We have a 3 month buffer plus $5000 extra (incase something major happens to a car or the house) insavings. We put into a vacation fund monthly that we could get rid of or use elsewhere if needed. We have college funds for both children. We are * okay* , but could definitely make cut backs to save more!
     

    barkley

    DIS Veteran<br><font color=orange>If I ever have a
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2004
    i guess i'm ahead at least 6-12 months at different points in the year on some but the money is in my pocket (designated bank account). it's b/c i pay stuff like auto/homeowners insurance yearly and bi-annually vs. monthly for a nice discount so i prorate the annual cost and throw that amount into a designated 'reserve' account each month then pay as i go. i do the same with property taxes and what i estimate we need for yearly propane costs. depending on the time of year my electric bill might have a credit that could cover a few months but that's b/c i use a balance monthly payment plan-it ends up balancing out at the end of each year (i never end up owing so far).

    i wouldn't prepay my phone, satellite or garbage (my only actual monthly bills) b/c if something glitches with their system or we get a new provider i don't want to have to deal with getting my money back.
     

    CookieandOatmeal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 12, 2014
    No, we pay every bill when it's due.

    Why not just throw your "extra" money into a rainy day fund and try not to touch it except for emergencies? Prepaying regular bills just seem like you're loaning companies your money to use instead of you reaping some kind of benefit from it. Watching a bank balance grow is just as satisfying as seeing a credit on a bill!
     

    CGB

    Imagining the Impossible!
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2014
    if something glitches with their system or we get a new provider i don't want to have to deal with getting my money back.
    Bingo!
    I'm a little obsessive when it comes to money management. I don't even want the U.S. government holding my money for me. My annual goal is to break even on income taxes or owe less than $100. I have money set aside in an emergency fund that would cover one year's worth of expenses if needed.
     

    disneychrista

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 26, 2002
    While I can understand the reasoning, I think it would make more sense to set this money aside for "later" than to send the money to the company to hold. If you are too far ahead on your bills, I wouldn't be surprised to see them send you a "refund."
     

    dclpluto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 11, 2012
    I see most people don’t like the way I’m doing it. The only thing I was ahead on when I had one was a mortgage. I was usually ahead about six months. Plus I paid extra. Haven’t had a mortgage in 12 years. Than covid hit. Had about 6 weeks of 32 hours than about 8 weeks or so of 40 hours. Than I started doing things different. Always paid my bills on time never been late on one bill my entire life. Interest rates are very low on savings accounts. Just looked it up mine is at 0.02 percent with td bank lol.
    electric I’m always going to need electric. I’m not interested in solar.
    xfinity I will always have xfinity if I get rid of cable and go streaming I will still need their internet.
    oil- I will always need oil. They just sent my budget plan to me a few weeks ago and it was 20 dollars a month so just paid them for the year. I had credit in there.
    House insurance-you can’t really get ahead on that you get the bill you pay it for the year.
    car insurance- just got my car insurance.They have it in four payments for the year. If you pay the whole year it was a savings of 134 dollars. So paid it for the year.
    Property taxes- still waiting for my bill. When it comes I will pay august and November as soon as it comes. I’m not going anywhere.
    dvc- my maintenance fee I have it set up monthly. When I get everything else to a year than I might change this.
    cell phone to get the great veterans rate you have to have it taken out every monthly

    I don’t have sewer bill, water or garbage bill.
     

    DisLiss

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 2, 2018
    To answer your question...I am not ahead on any of my bills save one. Most of my bills cannot be paid ahead. The companies do not allow it or the amount changes monthly. Plus I am pretty much a control freak when it comes to our budget, financing, etc., so I'm not going to give a company a chunk of my money and then trust them to correctly keep tabs on the credit I have with them. :)

    I do have life insurance for all of my kids and the amount monthly is quite low, and it's always the same. I don't get any deal by paying it ahead, but I do choose to pay it annually instead of monthly anyway, just to have one less small bill to pay each month. So since I paid it in January, I'm technically 5 months ahead on that one (combined) bill. :)

    For me, I find the way to reduce my concerns about being covered if things go poorly in life is by constantly funneling funds into a savings account that we don't touch. It serves the same purpose, of course. If I have X amount of dollars and that amount will cover 6 months of bills, then I am still covered for 6 months of future bills, but I get to be the one to keep the money instead of voluntarily giving it to some other company.

    Companies change hands, or we may move, or we may decide to do without a certain thing, and I don't want to have to go fighting to get back the extra funds of mine that they have. To me, that would be stressful to have in the back of my head. I do allow it in that one case, but the yearly amount is so low that I just don't mind it. And it's something I'd likely not cancel unless we were absolutely out of options.
     


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