Organising your bills and receipts

Paperwork in the office can easily become a mess, get lost and keeping on top of it can be somewhat challenging.  Soon after becoming a SAHM I took on the role of managing the household bills.  My hubby had this under control but as I like to do, I created an organised system.  I needed a system that was easy to use and wasn’t going to let me forget to pay a bill, as being on one wage I didn’t want to incur any extra overdue fees.  Keeping everything in the bill organiser meant that it was really easy to locate everything.

This is my process

  1. When bills arrive in the mail, I write the due date into my bills calendar, I then clip the bill to the inside of my bill organiser folder cover ready for when it needs to be paid.
  2. Throughout the week I empty the receipts from my purse into my receipts bin, each week I add these receipts to the ‘actual spending’ tab in our household budget
  3. Once I have entered them into the budget I then file them into a plastic wallet in my bill organiser (each wallet is categorised) Eg grocery bills, department stores (for clothing, toys etc), healthcare, kids/sporting, other and my business expenses.  I sort them like this so I can easily find a receipt if needed.  For example if a toy breaks, or I buy some clothes I can easily locate the receipt to return with the item.
  4. At the beginning of each week I look at the bills calendar to see what bills need to be paid and pay them. I then file the paid bills into my folders, grouping like bills together eg. phone, electricity, etc. Review the system here.
  5. At the end of each month I then staple all the receipts in each wallet together and write the month and year at the top of the first receipt.  This makes it easy to find a receipt if needed in the future.  Also I throw out the grocery, petrol, miscellaneous receipts after 3 months.  I keep them for this period of time just in case there is a discrepancy on my credit card statement I have the receipt to look back on. I keep department store receipts for 6 months just in case I need to return something.
  6. At the end of the financial year, I then place all the receipts that we need to keep for tax purposes in a labelled box (labelled for each financial year).  We keep these receipts for 5 years. It is a good idea to photocopy receipts for large ticket items such as TV’s, fridges etc just in case as they may fade over the years.
  7. All bills and receipts that don’t need to be kept for tax purposes are then shredded.

READ MORE: A few steps to create a ‘non-filing cabinet’ organised filing system for your paperwork. 

Organising finances and filing in a small space can be hard, but it is achievable. This system for organising paperwork without a filing cabinet in your office will help you keep all your bills and other paperwork ordered and tidy.

Currently I am using these folders found at Kmart for my office paperwork, found at Kmart.

Organising finances and filing in a small space can be hard, but it is achievable. This system for organising paperwork without a filing cabinet in your office will help you keep all your bills and other paperwork ordered and tidy.

Over the years I have also use a large folder with clear cover to insert front page from OfficeWorks

add the due date to the calendar

I use the A4 Marbig Expanding Binder Wallets from OfficeWorks to store the receipts.

What is included in the Bill Organiser

The 2017 Bill Organiser includes – Front cover, spine label, calendars from August 2013 to December 2014 and pages to keep all details handy for bank and other accounts such as electricity, phone etc and a debt repayment plan to track how much you still have owing on a loan.

How do you organise all your bills?

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12 comments

Nicole August 13, 2013 - 7:56 AM

I use a binder with sheet protectors. When a bill comes in, it goes into that month’s sheet protector. When it’s paid, I staple the confirmation to it and it goes to the back of the sheet protector. I don’t keep receipts like that, but I should.

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KezUnprepared August 13, 2013 - 8:23 AM

Wow, I’m nowhere near that organised but I do a fortnightly budget and factor all bills and direct debit transactions into each one. I then pay all bills due that fortnight on the first day that we’ve been paid so that i know there’s nothing outstanding for that fortnight. Gives me peace of mind! We have a very sophisticated (haha) system where all outstanding bills go on the fridge and after that I mark them with ‘paid’ and they eventually (didn’t say I’m perfect) get filed. Hopefully. Haha.

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Carly Joyce August 13, 2013 - 9:31 AM

We have a computer desk drawer that doubles as a ‘pending’ filing system. All bills and junky ‘to do’ jobs get put in there and every Friday I empty the drawer and go through it. I set up the bills to be paid the day before they are due via internet banking and check the scheduled payments to ensure there is enough money in the account (we have a dedicated mortgage and bills account) for the bills coming out that week. We had previously worked out how much our bills were for the year and some of my hubby’s pay gets put into this account each fortnight to cover that amount. Each year around tax time we do a review and make any changes needed. Once the bills have been scheduled to be paid they are filed for one year.

I definitely need to do something about the receipts though. I’m sure we could save a lot of money if I was a bit more on top of the miscellaneous stuff 🙂

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Kirsten McCulloch August 14, 2013 - 2:16 PM

Hmm, this is something I need to get much better at. I have a good budget and balance it up every month based on the credit cards (largely), but I don’t tend to keep most receipts, and I don’t enter the actual money spent anywhere, which I’ve been thinking would be useful.

Thanks for this Sanity post Kat, you’ve inspired me to take another look at our systems 🙂

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Katrina August 15, 2013 - 8:06 PM

Keeping track of what you spend can really help when trying to save your money and you can see if you are overspending on electricity for example, if you find your bill is a lot higher than you budgeted or compared to last month then you know you need to switch off lights more often and watch how much you use the clothes dryer for example. Hope your new system helps!

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Kirsten McCulloch August 18, 2013 - 12:13 PM

Thanks, me too 🙂 I do keep track from month to month (like looking at the big bills and whether they match our budget – and as much as possible I have them direct debited monthly anyway), but it’s more things like the grocery bill I need to work on, keeping track over the month of whether we are staying within budget.

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Lisa October 24, 2013 - 8:44 AM

Kat – just wondering where you got your 6 white boxes from for storing your monthly batch of receipts in? Also, what size boxes do you find the best size for storing your EFY/tax in. Feeling very inspired to get our paperwork in order. {{{Thank You}}}

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Karen October 24, 2013 - 1:36 PM

Really inspired. Thanks – I am starting today! Thanks Kat

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rebeccar June 24, 2014 - 10:10 PM

Do you have a new bill organizer for 2014/2015?
Thanks

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Katrina June 25, 2014 - 8:41 AM

Hi Rebeccar yes I do just released it yesterday, click on the bill organiser above and it will take you to the new 2014/15 version. 🙂

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Fiona 'Fi' Keller June 27, 2014 - 12:34 PM

I separate my bills and receipts. My receipts go into a binder with sheet protectors each marked with a week and are also separated into months. My bills stay on my desk and once they are paid I staple the receipt and file it in my expanding file.

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Kate April 6, 2017 - 12:09 AM

I use a paperless system, similar to this but I use a scanning app on my phone (there are several free or very cheap apps) to scan the receipts/bills as I get them, then upload them and save them in the appropriate folder. No paperwork or filing! 🙂

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