TheNest has a really nice income calculator. I have been using it for the past few months and LOVE it. So nice because it a) automatically calculates and b) thinks of a lot of things we forget accidentally when calculating budgets.
When paying bills, I don't like the offered auto-pay feature that most companies offer. First off, I've had 2 companies NOT stop auto-deducting when they were supposed to. I had my old electric company deduct some weird crazy amount that resulted in a huge surplus on my account. And, worst of all, Comcast messed up my bill so atrociously and I didn't realize it because it was autodeducted. That got taken care of, but what. a. mess.
I think it's important to separate credit cards and utilities. The Comcast experience aside, most utilities don't screw you over. But credit cards, you have to check that darn statement every month.
That said about utilities, there are things to watch for with them nonetheless. Did you know that if someone imputs your cell number into a ring tone site, it automatically bills your cell phone plan? I got nearly $100 billed on one cell bill because that happened. Nasty.
So what to do? The ease of autopay and avoid the risk of missing a payment? Or trying to get it all done yourself?
We have student loans to worry about, all our house stuff, and all our job stuff. No kids to throw into the worries yet, but now's the time to build a good foundation to work from right? Hm.
Maybe I should auto pay everything except for credit cards and then schedule a day a month where I have a list and I review all the utility statements.
This is all prompted by the fact that every month one small thing slips by me. No, not the big stuff like credit cards or student loans. But one small thing. Gotta build a better system.