Receiving bills can be stressful.
Letting the bills stack up without paying them can be even more upsetting. That’s one reason it’s important to build a budget that lets you cover all of your monthly expenses, including your credit card, utility, and other bills. And by paying your bills on time, you can ensure that you’re not overspending. It can also help you build credit, so you can achieve your larger financial goals, like owning a home, and saving for retirement.
Stash’s Bill Pay tool can work with your budget, allowing you to manage and pay your bills in one place, in-app and online, and on time.1
How to budget for paying your bills
If you don’t already have a budget, creating one should be the first step in building your financial plan. When you make a budget, you’ll account for the money you have coming in each month, the money you need to spend on essentials, the money you spend on non-essentials, and money that you save or invest.
There are many different ways to budget. One method you might use is the 50-30-20 budget, which divides your income into three categories: essential, fixed expenses (50%), non-essential, variable expenses (30%), and investments and saving (20%). Your essential, fixed expenses include the bills you pay each month, such as rent, utilities, credit card payments, student loan payments, and more.
So when you’re building a budget, take a look at your bills from the previous month to see what you typically spend paying them, and build those expenses into your budget. Then you’ll know how much money needs to go towards your bills each month, so you won’t be as tempted to spend on take-out dinners, or online shopping.
Why it’s important to pay your bills on time
Paying your bills on time and in full is crucial to maintaining your financial health, and preventing debt. It can also help you to build good credit. Missing a payment on a bill one month can make it more difficult to catch up on payments. For example, if you miss a credit card payment, the credit card company may charge you more interest leading to you owing even more money than you initially did.
By paying your bills on time, you can also increase your credit score, which is a point-based rating system that assesses how responsible you are with loans and debt over time. Credit scores, developed by a company called Fair, Isaac Co., are sometimes called FICO scores. Credit scores can run from a low of 300 to a high of 850, which is considered perfect credit. A score of 670 or above is generally considered good credit. Paying your bills on time and in full can contribute to a good credit score.
Having a solid credit score can help you reach your financial goals. If you apply to get a loan for buying a car or a house, or opening your own business, your potential lenders will likely look at your credit score to see how you’d handle that money.
Using Bill Pay with Stash
With Stash, you can use Bill Pay1 to help you keep track of bill payments. Bill Pay can help you make sure that you pay all of your bills on time and in full by keeping all of your bills in one place.
After setting up a Stash investment account, in order to use the Bill Pay feature, you need an active Stash Stock-Back® Card2 and you need to verify your phone number. Once your card is activated and your phone number is verified, you can set up Bill Pay in the Stash app.
If you’re paying a utility, cable, internet, or credit card bill, you can use Bill Pay to send that company your payment electronically. This electronic payment should be fulfilled through Stash’s third-party payment service in three to five business days. If the recipient requires a paper check, you can also use Bill Pay to send a paper check. Remember that you’ll need to update bill recipients with your Stash routing and account numbers, which you can find under “Account and routing numbers” in your Bank settings.