Set Yourself Up for Success With These Monthly Bill Trackers
Life can get overwhelming. Streamline your financial life with a good monthly bill tracker.
Contributing Writer at Tally
January 7, 2022
Life is hectic enough, and monthly bills can fall through the cracks, leading to missed payments, late fees and even potential damage to your credit score.
You may be able to solve this with a monthly bill tracker. This’ll help track:
What bills are due
How much they are
There's a wide range of monthly bill trackers to pick from. Some of these trackers are 100% manual, but others include digital tools, importing data from your online accounts to populate the month's upcoming bills.
Let's dive into these monthly bill trackers to determine which best suits your finances.
Whether it's Google Calendar, Outlook's calendar or any other electronic calendar, you can use these as a monthly bill tracker. Simply add its due date to the calendar as a monthly reoccurring event when you receive a monthly bill.
Add the bill’s total and repeat this on a new line every month in the description. That’ll help you notice if a bill is higher than usual. This could indicate a billing error that needs to be corrected, but it’s also possible you’ll learn about trends in your billing that you can plan for. For example, you might learn your electric bill is significantly higher in the summer because you use the air conditioning in your home.
With this tracking system, it's automated, so you'll know roughly the due date for all your bill payments. If the due date changes from month to month, like with a credit card bill, adjust the due date every month when you receive the monthly statement.
If an electronic calendar isn't your style of monthly bill tracker, you can use a physical calendar. Once you receive a monthly bill, write the company's name and the amount due on the bill due date on the calendar. This lets you see exactly when that bill is due and the amount without searching for a statement.
Plus, you have all your bills and amounts written in the calendar at the end of each year. This allows you to review the year's bills and see where some may have spiked and why — just like the electronic calendar.
You can even keep a few years' worth of calendars to get a look at longer expense trends.
Pen and paper
Another monthly bill tracker is good old pen and paper. With a notepad and pen, you can commit one page to an entire month of bills.
As you receive your monthly bills, write their due date and amount on that month's page. If you receive a bill out of order — a bill with an earlier due date arrives after one with a later due date — you can use correction fluid or correction tape to make changes. Or, if you prefer, you can just use a pencil or erasable pen, so you can make corrections even easier.
This process can get a little overwhelming, and one spilled drink can ruin months of work. However, this is a good option for someone who isn't comfortable with computers or prefers the tactile feel of a physical budget.
If you want a monthly bill tracker that's a bit more robust than paper and pen, a budget worksheet may be an option. These are premade notebooks with columns and rows designed especially for budgeting and bill tracking.
Use these monthly budget worksheets just as you would a pen and notepad. You can also save filled budget worksheets for future review.
Spreadsheets are great for businesses, but you can also use them as monthly bill trackers. Any digital spreadsheet will do the trick, whether Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers or Google Sheets.
Simply create a new spreadsheet and make three columns named:
Also, rename the tab on the bottom to match the month and year.
As bills come in, enter the information in the respective cell in the corresponding column. You can also quickly reorganize the sheet, so the bill with the closest due date is on top, making it easier to see when things are coming due. Plus, you can change the color of the rows as you pay bills, so nothing falls through the cracks.
After you've entered all the month's bills into your monthly bill organizer spreadsheet, make a copy or duplicate the tab for the next month. Rename the new tab to match the upcoming month, and now you have a running bill tracker for the next month's upcoming bills. You simply update the bill amounts and due dates as they come in.
Repeat this process for the entire year. If you're spreadsheet-savvy, you can even create a final tab that looks at the average of each bill for the whole year.
These systems also have bill tracker templates you can download for free to streamline the process.
A wide range of budgeting apps is available online for your computer or iOS or Android devices. Built into many of these apps are bill-tracking functions that can help you see what you have paid and what is upcoming.
Some of these apps will even log in to all your online accounts and import past and future bills, eliminating the need to enter them manually. It’s possible not all your bills will integrate with these systems, though, so you may have to enter some manually. But the apps generally use what you enter to project future bill estimates that you can later edit.
There's no shortage of these apps, but some of the more popular ones include:
You Need A Budget
Keep in mind that most of these apps have free options, but the free licenses sometimes don't include automated bill importing. Still, their ability to track and even deliver monthly reporting may be invaluable to your personal finance success.
Keep tabs on all your bills with a monthly bill tracker
A monthly bill tracker can help you monitor your monthly expenses and ensure you don't miss a bill and incur a late fee. With so many options to choose from, ranging from something as simple as writing bills on a calendar to intricate apps, there's a monthly bill tracker for everyone.
If you struggle with tracking and paying credit card bills, the Tally† credit card debt repayment app can help. The app helps you manage your monthly credit card bills in one place and will even automatically pay them by the due date. Tally also offers a lower-interest personal line of credit, allowing you to pay off higher-interest credit cards efficiently.
†To get the benefits of a Tally line of credit, you must qualify for and accept a Tally line of credit. The APR (which is the same as your interest rate) will be between 7.90% and 29.99% per year and will be based on your credit history. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Annual fees range from $0 to $300.