aggressive bill paying 101
I'm not a genius with finances but if there's one thing I do know, it's that the best approach to bill paying is to be aggressive. And I mean really aggressive.
The brake work I had done on my truck recently was financed because I didn't have the cash on hand, nor did I feel like putting the charge on debit. I applied for in-store credit, was approved and had the work done.
This particular line of credit allows 90 days with no minimum payment required, but the minimum finance charge after that is a whopping 21% - which sadly is low in today's world. And this can balloon up to 26% as the terms of agreement state. I knew this when I applied for it, but most people wouldn't bother to read fine print like that.
Will I wait the 90 days then make minimum payments? No. It's getting paid off next week - in full. I won't even be taking advantage of the 90-day thing.
This is how I deal with in-store credit. I only acquire it when I don't have the cash on hand and/or intend to go back for further purchases (which I will because I need some more work done later).
I've found that it's the little nagging bills that prove to be annoying compared to the big ones, because what happens is all the smaller ones pile up quickly if you're not careful.
Over the course of the past several years this is exactly what I've been doing. Each time I aggressively pay a bill, yes it hurts the wallet. But the result is that I have more cash in my pocket later. This is short term loss, long term gain.
Most people are the exact opposite where they will do short time gain, long term loss. I find this to be a ridiculous way of handling money because you lose so much when bill-paying that way.
If you have little nagging bills you make payments on right now and have the cash to pay them off, do it. Just remember that each time you do, that bill is gone. Believe me when I say that's a very satisfying feeling.