I have a calendar page. (Can print free from computer, if you don’t have a very basic planner).
As bills come in, I write them on the calendar.
Say my electric is due Sept 12 —-on the square for the 12th… I write electric $150.
Then, when a payday comes—I do the following steps in order:
1. pay all bills due for the next 2 weeks out of that check (2 weeks as we get paid every 2 weeks)—-first thing—before anything else is spent !!
2. I transfer any contingency fund items to my ING account (house repair fund, etc—we are living in a fixer upper house—this is necessary).
3. fill up the vehicles with gas. (this lasts us until the next payday).
4. then and only after 1-3 are done do I allow myself to go grocery shopping, buy things that come up, etc. (and trust me—things will always come up).
I find this method works best for me. I have tried numerous other methods and always did best with this one—so now just stick with it.
I have also found that I tend to get ahead more using the calendar method. Say there is a small bill due later in the month—but I have room for it out of this check. I just go ahead and pay it now.
Then, next check I have one less bill to pay and can pay the next bill a little earlier. Eventually, you get to the point where you can pay a bill as it comes in— a very awesome feeling.
Hope that helps a little—but like I always say—you have to find what works for YOU!