To pay bills early or not?

Working on my age of money, etc trying to get 1 month ahead, then I realized I pay may Bill's the day I get them. Some, like medical, are due then, but most aren't due for another 15 days or so. I think I'm in a good habit, but is it helpful? 

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  • I mean, I usually make sure a bill gets paid five days or so ahead of time so that if there's any weirdness there's time to notice, contact them and get it sorted out before the due date. Apart from that, no, if I were trying to get a month ahead, I'd consider holding on to my money for as long as possible part of my strategy in doing that.

    Reply Like 1
  • This just shows why Age of Money is unhelpful. It can be gamed. Though these changes would be one-time corrections.

    Most of my bills are on autopay, so I don't really care about dates.

    Nor do I care about Age of Money. It has a Rule 2 problem. If you can budget for all of next month using this month's income, you're good as far as that is concerned.

    Reply Like 6
  • I like to have my money in my possession as long as possible. Like nolesrule, I have everything I can on autopay. I mean, I don't have to push it to the last day every time but always toward the due date. I like my money working for me all time instead of The Man, lol.

    Reply Like 3
  • If the category is funded, I would say to pay using the bill-pay method that makes sense to you. Pay immediately upon receipt, set up auto payment for due date, mail out post dated checks, etc.

    Within the same month, so long as the amount is funded there is no real difference budget-wise. Paying something due the 3rd on the 30th of the previous month would require having category be double funded for one month, then back to normal.

    Depending on how your bank calculates interest, leaving the money in for longer might get you a little more interest, but for smaller bills it's probably not worth tracking. 

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  • The only reason I don't pay my bills immediately is that I don't want to be changing the dates on my scheduled repeating transactions all the time. I like to be able to pull up my account register and be able to see the due dates at a glance by having them all set to pay that day.

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      • Vibrant
      • May the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows
      • vibrant
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Tobias Select transaction > Edit > Enter Now will move the transaction from scheduled to active  in your register without modifying the original scheduled date for the next transaction. 

      Reply Like 1
      • Tobias
      • Toviathan
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant I looked everywhere trying to figure that out without changing the date! Thank you so much!

      Reply Like 1
      • Ben Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant cool, thanks

      Reply Like
  • As a threshold matter, Age of Money has so many issues that it's meaningless.

    As far as paying bills, it's a compromise between hanging on  to the money as long as possible, and doing the administrative work of paying the bills when it's convenient.  I like to schedule bills to be paid on the appropriate day, and do the scheduling when it's convenient for me.  Get the bill, schedule the payment for the due date*, forget about it.  This worked great in YNAB 4; the bill payment was a future dated, committed transaction in the register and I was done.  nYNAB insists on making this a scheduled transaction that I have to approve when the date rolls around.  I wish there were a way to pre-approve scheduled transactions, but there are so many other useful things that aren't happening that this is unlikely to ever happen.

    The exception to future dated bills is for bills I can pay with a credit card.  If the due date is in the current cc bill cycle, I just pay the bill.  If the due date is after the cc bill cycle will close and I have the capability of scheduling the payment, I'll schedule it for a couple days after the cc bill cycle closes.  That's real world, hanging onto the money and earning those few pennies of interest until I'm required to pay.

    Age of Money dances around according to bizarre rules that I don't totally understand.  I do understand that my AoM goes up and down depending on whether I'm spending money now faster or slower than it came in 10 months ago, but there are some movements I can't explain in detail.  I enjoy watching it, even though I realize this is much like a cat watching the red dot from a laser pointer.

    Reply Like 4
  • I schedule the bill payment through my bank the minute I walk in from the mailbox, file the bill and forget it. (My husband has a problem of shuffling through my set-aside papers and making piles. I’ve “mislaid” some bills that way.)

     Since it’s budgeted,  I don’t care when it comes out of the bank as long as it’s in the month  it’s due. 

    Reply Like 1
  • I would have to say that I used to be very "quirky" about paying things early (2 weeks or immediately upon receiving the statement) and for unnecessarily paying credit card balances in full before the end of the month in order to start next month with a clean slate of 0 owing. These practices had everything to do with my anxiety issues around debt and credit, and they had nothing to do with financial efficiency.

    I'm getting more relaxed or confident or less quirky with time.  Last month I made the move to set up all my utilities with autodraft on one of my credit cards, then monitored the account activity like a hawk waiting for the payments to occur.  That means that going forward my bills will be paid automatically on their due date, and the funds will leave my account a month later when I deal with the credit card statement. Fingers crossed.

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance You'll be more relaxed soon. I've been doing that for a couple years now. You'll learn to trust it in time. Almost all of my bills are automated now. The whole thing is on auto-pilot (with just a little bit of monitoring) and my financial life is a breeze now and I can spend more time worrying about other things. 😉

      Reply Like 1
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Superbone 

      Thanks.  I do already have a sense that it will feel normal quite quickly.  My finances are fairly repetitive and predictable, so I don't expect to run into problems other than possibly error or fraud. The chances of me not noticing something wrong immediately are slim to none. I feel like I've come a very long way with the help of YNAB. 

      Reply Like 2
  • I pay on the due date via my bank's billpay service. The date is automated, and I might as well get the interest.

    Reply Like 2
      • Ben Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I was using the banks service too, just paying when the ebill was received, not when it was due.

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  • I haven't had the courage just yet to yield to autopay.  However, you can contact your credit card company and most other companies and move your payment date.  I have nearly all my bills now coming due at the beginning of the month, when I also happen to get paid.  That just makes life easier.  Get paid, budget, pay bills, relax rest of month. 

    Reply Like 1
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