Here are 7 "Tools" tips.

Bill Management System

Paying your bills promptly will help you avoid late fees and interest charges. We can show you how to keep your finances in good order with simple steps and equipment. You don't need fancy supplies, spreadsheets or costly pre-programmed packages. With the help of a few standard office supplies, you can have your bill payment system ready to go.

If your bills and receipts are not kept organised, you will end up with unnecessary late fees, or end up paying some bills twice and forgetting to pay others, only finding out about it when the debt collector is at your door.

We can show you how to see at a glance what bills have been paid and what you have left to pay. It is simple and only takes about two minutes each time you receive a bill!

Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read these files. It is a free program and you can download it from: here

If you are having trouble downloading the PDF files, try right-clicking and selecting 'Save link as...', saving it to your Desktop then opening it from the Desktop.

How to Set Up Your Bill Payment System

  1. Gather equipment required:
    1 x ring binder (we find these work best)
    3 x clear document protectors (optional)
    15 x pocket dividers.

    Next, download and print these forms:

    PDF Monthly Bill Summary (265 kb)
    Use this to list your bills in the order in which they need to be paid each month. This sheet will help you quickly identify which bills have been paid and which are still to be paid. You will need one of these per month.

    PDF Pay Day Planner (75 kb)
    This helps you sort your bills out by pay day so you have approximately the same amount of money coming out on each pay day. You will need one of these per month.

    PDF Bill Planner (297 kb)
    The Bill Planner is a quick and easy way to keep track of when you paid your bills and how much. This form covers a six month period. When this period is over and you total your bills, you will be able to see how much everything is costing you. You will also be able to see how your bills vary from month to month so you can plan ahead for next year.

  2. Place your dividers into your ring binder. Label the first divider Bills to be Paid. Then label the rest of the dividers with the names of your bills, for example:

    • Electricity
    • Mobile
    • Rent/House payment
    • Telephone
    • Credit Card
    • ...(and so on)

    Continue this until you have a divider for each bill. If you don't have enough dividers, you can combine similar bills, such as all utilities, car payments or credit cards.

  3. Place your Monthly Bill Summary, Pay Day Planner and Bill Planner in individual clear document protectors (optional) and place at the front of your folder. The Monthly Bill Summary should be the first form you see when you open your binder.

How to Use Your Bill Payment System

  1. Gather all of your bill statements and place them in the pocket divider labelled 'Bills To Be Paid'. This is where all the bills are to be placed when you receive them. Write your bills in your Monthly Bill Summary sheets as you receive them. It should only take two minutes of your time.

  2. On pay day, look at your Pay Day Planner to determine which bills need to be paid from the current pay day and the next. Write out your cheques for these bills and get them ready to mail, pay via Internet banking or whatever your preferred method of payment may be.

  3. Once paid, file all statements in the pocket divider corresponding to that bill.

  4. On the last day of the month, complete the Bill Planner form, so you can keep track of your monthly expenses over a six month period. Print out a new Monthy Bill Summary and Pay Day Planner for the new month.

Kids' Toy Box Labels

There are two reasons small children are messy. 1) You haven't taught them how to be clean, and 2) They don't know where the toys live.

We have created these labels to help you to teach your child to clean up their toys, as well as teaching your child to read, and building their self esteem and penmanship.

To teach your child how to put their toys away, print out these labels and help your child to colour them in. Then cut out the labels and attach them to the front of the drawer/shelf where you would like your child to store their toys.

Now help your child to put their things away by turning it into a game: Pick up one toy, ask your child, "What is this toy?" and then "Where does it live?" When they point to the correct spot on the shelf, clap and cheer. When they put the toy away clap and cheer even louder. Pretty soon your kids will learn where every toy goes and - more importantly - that putting away their toys makes Mummy very, very happy.

Power Expense Calculator

A great way to lower your power bill is to keep track of how much power you are using each week. This way you will be able to see your progress and find out which minor changes in your habits gave you the biggest power savings.

Table fun

To help you enjoy more time at the table we have put together some game ideas, conversation starters and knock-knock jokes.

2 responses in the members' forum

Kids' Clothing Drawer Labels

I love these labels because they have trained my children into putting away their own clothes. Even tiny Tristan puts his clothes away. I put a label on the front of the drawer and another inside the drawer. This way, even when the drawer is empty he can still follow the system!

Menu Planner

To help you lower your food bills we created a stylish menu planner and ingredients list to inspire you and help you avoid impulse buys. I hope it helps you guard your wallet and save even more money on food!

Purchasing Planner

Use the Purchasing Planner to resist impulse spending. To find out how it works, check out the December Newsletter.