Most Americans Have Missed a Payment Because They Forgot It Was Due

Utilities, internet, credit cards—we all have bills.

Most Americans Have Missed a Payment Because They Forgot It Was Due

Bill management and budgeting is difficult and we all approach the task differently. We surveyed 1,200 Americans on their bill management and budgeting methods to see just how people are managing their money.

Keeping Track Of Bills
  • More than half (56%) have missed a payment because they forgot it was due
  • Nearly 2 in 5 (39%) use a calendar to keep track of when bills are due
  • More than one third (35%) wait for statements to know when bills are due
  • 31% keep track of bill due dates by memory

Making Payments
  • Nearly half (49%) make most of their payments online
  • However, 37.7% don’t have any bills on auto-pay
  • 2 in 5 (40%) do not have a detailed budget
  • 14% don’t track expenses at all
  • More than quarter (25.8%) don’t have a savings account at all, of those who do have one, only 1 in 3 have auto deposits
But maybe these methods aren’t working
  • Nearly 15% of people feel their money management is not effective

5 Tips for Mastering Bill Management And Budgeting

Sign-up for online bill pay. If you’re not already paying your bills online, you should be. Paying online allows you to pay your bills easily, quickly and safely. No payments delayed or lost in the mail. No waiting on hold to make payments by phone. In fact, companies actually prefer that you pay online due to increased speed and security. It also helps to remind you when bills are due.

Enroll in automatic payments. If you really have a hard time remembering to pay bills or maybe you simply don’t want to be bothered, you should enroll in automatic payments. Auto-pay allows for you to schedule for payments to automatically be withdrawn from your account. You can even sometimes schedule payments to coordinate with your pay schedule. Enrolling in auto-pay is a good way to ensure you never miss a bill again, just be sure to monitor your accounts to make sure payments are actually being withdrawn as scheduled.

Pay your bills when you get paid. A good way to make sure that bills get paid on-time and that you have enough money for all your bills is to pay them when you get paid. There’s no need to wait for the due date to pay your bill, pay it early. If you get paid bi-weekly, split your bills into two pay schedules depending on their due date and pay a set of bills with each check. This eliminates the need to keep track of every due date throughout the month.

Consider using an online tool to create a budget. There are many, many online tools available to help you create a budget without having to do a ton of the math yourself. Companies like Mint not only help you create a budget that meets your needs by incorporating your goals and expenses, but they also help you stick to it by sending you alerts when you are overspending and reminding you when bills are due. Other great online tools include: Wally, You Need a Budget and Accorns.

Sweep excess funds into a savings account. There’s probably no need to convince you that having a savings account is a good idea. But how do you fund it? Fund it with whatever extra money you have at the end of the month (or pay period). I know it’s tempting to spend that extra cash, but whether it’s $10 or $100, it adds up. There are also several savings accounts that will round-up your transactions and stash the change in a savings account. Make saving money a priority.


We surveyed 1,200 Americans (who identified themselves as managers of their household finances) via the survey platform Pollfish about their methods and feeling towards their bill management. The survey was conducted on November 28, 2017.

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Brionna LewisBrionna Lewis

Brionna is on a roller coaster that only goes up. You can follow her on twitter @BrionnaLewis.