Are your bill-paying methods flustered, scattershot or on the run? Julie Morgenstern helps you sort out your checks and balances.

Bill paying is not for the fainthearted. Whether you view it with dread because all the paperwork feels overwhelming or because you're not sure you have enough money in the bank, you wouldn't be alone in slipping up. Regardless of income, honest people have been known to come home to no lights—or to destroy their credit ratings—because they can't keep track of dates and account balances. Try explaining that to the electric company!

You'll never get to the end of the paperwork—like pirates attacking your ship from all directions, the bills will just keep coming. But with a consistent defense, you can not only stay afloat, but also take control.

Try these three simple rules to get your finances in check for good!


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