Far away, carefree and relaxed at a stress-free vacation destination – when you finally manage to escape the everyday grind, paying off bills and credit card debt is perhaps one of the last things on your mind.
Consider the following tips to prevent late fees, finance charges and higher interest rates.
Tip #1: Pay your bills before you leave.
Bills are generally due on the same day of the month each time you build a balance. Keep a ledger with the bills you have paid to date for each month and in the margin next to the company, write the date the bill is due. This will help you to keep track of which bills you have already paid and the dates when the others must be submitted. By paying any bills early that you have received prior to leaving for vacation, you reduce the chances of receiving a late fee or other financial penalty.
Tip #2: Begin using automatic payment options.
Many companies offer automatic payment options that can take place regularly as the bill is due each month, or you can opt for a one-time payment while you are on vacation. Phone and the Internet payments have also become popular payment alternatives to the traditional sending of bills. Whatever the case, knowing the bills are paid before you embark on your trip will give you the peace of mind that you anticipate.
Tip #3: Bring them along and write out your bills while relaxing by the pool.
If you do not have the time or the funds to pay your bills before leaving home, bring them along and send them in while you are away. Find a few spare moments to write them out and drop them off at the nearest mailbox or post office and take a load off your mind.
Tip #4: Secure a last resort payment alternative – get a friend, neighbor or family member to pay your bill while you are away.
If it proves impossible for you to pay your bill prior to leaving or while on vacation, ask someone whom you trust to settle the balance while you are unable to do so for yourself. Leave a pre-signed check or ask your friend or relative to pay with a check that has your name printed and a memo of “for deposit to [company name]”.
Tip #5: Make arrangements with the billing companies prior to leaving for vacation.
Find out if they offer automatic payment options or if you can at least get a ballpark figure of what you owe. See if it is possible to put down at least a partial payment so you will not have to stress over payments while you are away.
By attempting these five easy tips, you can set off on vacation with a light heart and an open mind. Adventures await, not late fees. Relax, have fun and realize that life only gets easier when you do not have to worry about credit card debt and finance charges, thanks to your responsible credit planning.