5 Ways the Right Budget Tool can Streamline Your Bill-Paying

Paying bills is a fact of life, and sometimes it seems every payee has different bill paying rules. The gas company charges a fee for paying by debit card, the electric company charges a fee for paying online, and the internet provider charges a fee for not paying online. And due dates may be spread across a given month.

The key to making sure all your bills get paid on time is using budget tools that keep everything organized for you in one place, with easy, anytime access. Mint is one of the best budget tools for helping you get your bills paid because it offers a number of features that make it less likely you'll forget a bill, and less likely you'll pay bills late. Here are 5 ways the right budget tool can streamline the bill paying process.

1. By Gathering All Your Information in One Place

To streamline bill paying, use budget tools that gather all your budget information in one place. When your budget tools list all your upcoming bills as well as due dates, you're far less likely to forget about one of them. When you rely on paying bills without budget tools, you have to find your bill statements before they're due and take care of them. It's all too easy for a bill to get lost in a pile of mail or general household clutter.

Next step: Sign up for Mint and learn about all our great features and budget tools.

2. By Sending You Bill Alerts

We've all been there. It's been a killer week at work, and you've lost track of the date. It's only later, when you've finally found a few minutes to relax that you realize you didn't pay the phone bill. By that time, you're facing a late fee and the need to drop everything and get it taken care of before you forget again. Budget tools that offer bill alerts by text message or email help you remember to pay your bills before they're late.

3. By Letting You Know Payments Went Through

Budget tools that keep all your account information in one place can show you quickly and efficiently whether that credit card charge to your internet provider was posted, whether the check you wrote to the utility company cleared, and whether the automatic payment to the gas company went through as it was supposed to. You don't have to log into your credit card account, your bank account, or your customer account individually to know whether your payments cleared on time.

4. By Showing You at Any Time Whether You've Paid a Bill

In the rush of daily life, it's easy to forget whether you paid a bill or not. You could be waiting to pick up your kids at swimming lessons and suddenly wonder: Did I pay the phone bill this month? Budget tools that integrate with mobile apps let you get the answer wherever you happen to be. Mobility is one of the most important features you should look for when you're evaluating budget tools for streamlining the bill paying process.

5. By Preventing the Hassle of Late Fees

When you forget to send in a bill on time, you not only risk getting dinged on your credit report, you have to pay a late fee, which is basically money down the drain for no good reason. Late fees are a hassle because they can throw your budget off, and because they're punishment for missing a deadline. When you use budget tools that have all your financial information in one place, that offer to send bill payments in advance of your bills, and that can be accessed on your mobile devices, you can avoid the hassle of late fees.

Budget tools like those included with Mint can make bill paying simpler and can make late fees a thing of the past. Even if you pay some bills by debit card, others with a credit card, and still others with a check, Mint keeps up with them all. Better still, Mint offers a free mobile app for your iPhone, Android, or Windows 8 phone that lets you access this information even when you're away from home. Mint's budget tools are simply the best way to streamline bill paying and stay on top of your budget at all times.

Next step: Sign up for Mint and learn about all our great features and budget tools.