Worth repeating: Preventing late fees

28 May 2020


I originally wrote this post back in 2013, but given the current cash-flow challenges brought on by the pandemic, it seems worth repeating.

This month, I forgot to pay my credit card on the 17th. I don’t know what happened. I never forget. But on Saturday, I realized that the bill was due two days before and I’d forgotten.

Luckily, I had a back-up plan. About 18 months ago, at the advice of my friend, Shannon Wilkinson, I had arranged an automatic payment of the minimum amount due on the 17th, for instances just like this. I like to pay my credit card in full every month and up until now had done that before the automatic payment would kick in. But, since I forgot this month, at least the minimum payment was made and I avoided a late-payment fee.

I doubt I avoided an interest charge, to my dismay. I haven’t paid an interest charge in a couple of years, since I paid off my cards back in 2011. But a couple of days’ interest on a not-huge balance isn’t a big deal.

I could change my automatic payment so that the whole balance is paid, but I worry that that could spark a cash-flow problem. So, for me, this backup measure is a good one.

Late payment fees can add up and are definitely worth avoiding. If they’re problem for you, perhaps you could arrange for the minimum to be paid like I do. This month, I was sure glad I did!

(I do get an email reminder about the payment, but I think I’ll adjust it so that it comes closer to the due date and I don’t blow it off.)

Do you have any other tips for automating payments, not forgetting due dates, or otherwise avoiding late-payment penalties?

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About Janine

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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