10.27.2018

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills

Managing and organizing your bills can be tedious on its own especially when you don't have a system in place. I'm pretty much an organized person and when it comes to paying the bills, I make sure I don't miss anything important. 

I believe that to be able to achieve success in your financial life, you don't only need to learn how to budget and invest, but also have the ability to track your spending so you know where your hard-earned money is going. It's also important to pay your dues religiously and not miss a payment so that you can maintain a good credit standing. 

I always keep a paper record of my budgets and bills but more than that, I like making use of technology to make my life even easier and better. Technology has been an amazing help in providing solutions to us so why not use it in managing our finances, right? 

Let me introduce you to Trello - that's if you've never met before. I use Trello to basically organize my entire life. Now, I'm going to show you how I use it to manage and organize my bills to make sure I pay everything on time and of course, avoid costly fees. 

Ultimate goal: Less to no headaches ;) 

First things first, Trello is a project management tool that helps you plan and organize details of just about anything in your life. You can access it through your desktop or mobile app. The best thing is you can share your plans with anyone you like. Just imagine how easy it can be to be more transparent with your entire family when it comes to finances! 

Getting Started

Signing up is really easy. Just sign up by creating a profile at Trello.com and put in the information needed. Once you're done signing up, you can start using it. The process is simple to follow. 

Before I show you the system I use, I'll introduce you first to the basic components of Trello, then let's go from there. 

1. Board - A Trello board represents your project or big task. This is the place where you can organize your big task and break it down to smaller tasks. You can collaborate with your family and friends and give them access to your board. 

The example below is my Trello board for Bills Payment that contains all bills I have to pay. You can name it anything you like. 

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills

Whenever needed, you can share the board with your husband, wife, older children, siblings, or anyone who share with the bills so that all of you can see all the bill payments and deadlines. 

You can create as many boards as you can. You can create one for your daily, weekly, and monthly budget or for your travel budget, event budget, and a lot more. 


2. List - A list really works like the usual list you know. You can customize it to your liking or your unique needs. It's all up to you! You can create unlimited lists in your Trello board. 

In the screenshot below, you can see up close the lists I made. The first one is Monthly Bills Summary and the next one is Taxes. 

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills


3. Card - A card is what your list contains. It's the basic unit of your Trello board. It represents each task and idea. You can drag and drop it as much as you need and move it from one list to another. You can also add as many cards as you need.  

In each of my list, I add the cards I need. In the Monthly Bills Summary list, each card represents each month so that I can clearly see if I have finished paying all bills for that month or not. In the Taxes list, I added a card for each type of tax I pay every quarter. 

When you click each card, there are a lot of options to add such as Members, Labels, Checklist, Due Date, and Attachment. Later, I'll show you how I use each card. 

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills


4. Menu - Located on the upper right part of Trello, you can click a link that says "Show Menu" and it will show the different settings and your Trello activities and notifications. 

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills


Now that you already know the fundamentals of Trello, let's dive into the organization system I use to manage my bills. It's simple! Of course, this particular system works for me and may or may not work for you. I understand we have different preferences so I'm just going to show you how I do it and hopefully, you can have ideas on what your system will be. 

Trello is very customizable so you can experiment or try different ways of organization that works best for you. 

Here's mine. 

1. Create a monthly summary of the bills. 

As you can see, the first list on my board is the Monthly Bills Summary where I added a card for each month of the year. The card has many useful ways to organize information. For example, I added a checklist to each card. 

I named the checklist "PAID BILLS" then I just add all the bills I need to pay. I crash out each bill once I'm done paying, and put the amount I paid and the date as well. For me, it's just an easy way of seeing all bills in one place. It's also more convenient to review in the future. 

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills


2. Create one list for each bill to pay. 

Aside from the monthly summary list, I found it better to have one list for each bill especially when the amount to pay changes from month to month. 

This is true for my taxes and credit card payments. I then add each card ahead of time for each instance I have to pay. Example, for my taxes, I pay quarterly. For my credit card, I pay monthly. Taxes and credit cards have the biggest fees when paid late so I make sure I'm clear with all the payments. 

As you can see for my TAXES list, I write the months per quarter and the tax type I had to pay on each card so it's visible right away. 

For my Bankard Lists, I added the Credentials card on top of the list which shows the last 4 digits of my card, the statement cutoff, and the due date. After that card, I add a card for each month and I write the month and the inclusive dates. Everything I need to know is visible right away. 

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills


3. Add a checklist to clearly see your payments or transactions.

I've already shown an example on the Monthly Bills Summary. In this case, I use the Checklist option to list my credit card transactions. As you can see, I add the date, the purchase description, and the amount. Once I have paid it, I crash it out. 

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills


I also use a checklist for payments or bills that have the same amount each month such as this VIVO phone payment or installment that I already paid off. 

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills


4. Add labels and due dates. 

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills

Aside from the Checklist add-on, my favorite part has got to be adding labels and due dates. With these add-ons, I can clearly see the labels and due date showing on each card as shown on my previous screenshot examples. Trello will also notify me once my due date is coming. 

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills

I also have fun adding labels! It's always satisfying when I see progress. You can add any label you like or need. You can assign any color you like on each label to help with identification. In my case, I created the following labels: 

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills


5. Add attachments. 

Another feature I like is the Attachment. There are so many things you can do here. You can add snapshots of receipts, online confirmation pages, reminders, or basically anything that helps support your payment. It's going to be more convenient for future use once you find the need to search for your previous payments. 

Example, I attached my proof of payment and confirmation page on my Taxes card. I pay online so I just take a screenshot and add it on my card. Easy peasy! 

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills


Those are the main things I do on Trello to manage and organize my bills. Sounds easy? It is for me! But wait, there's more! As I mentioned earlier, you can add your family and friends on your Trello board or you can give them access to it as needed. 

For my Bills Payment board, I don't do this because I'm basically the only one assigned to keep track of the bills in the house and I just really show this to my husband as needed. But if you are planning the bills with someone who is probably not always in the house or maybe you don't see each other often, you can add him or her as a member. 

Have the person sign up to Trello first. He/she just needs a profile and doesn't really have to create a board if there's no need. Once done, just add the name or email address on the search field as shown below.

When you assign a member to a card, you can easily see his or her avatar on the card and you will know right away who's assigned to pay the bill. 

TRELLO: The System I Use to Manage & Organize my Bills

Here's a 5-minute screencast video (with audio: my voice) if you want to see a little bit of Trello in action. :)




So what do you think about Trello? Do you think you will give it a try?



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