6 Tips on Figuring Out Your Bills for Widowers

6 Tips on Figuring Out Your Bills for Widowers

The Way We Were

I married my senior year of college. When I graduated from university, I received a commission as an officer in the US Army and was selected for active duty. I soon found myself gone from home on training assignments or lengthy deployments with the military. As a result, my wife took over the bill paying. This continued for years, until her death.

A Real Challenge

When she died, I faced a real challenge. We did not transition the bill paying to me. My wife simply said, “I thank goodness you are smart enough to figure out the bill paying.”

6 Tips on Figuring Out To Whom Who You Owe Money

1. Check the Mail

  • I began by checking the mail every day and carefully looking at and reading each item the postman delivered.
  • I had a few bills coming by snail mail.
  • Some of the statements said DO NOT SEND PAYMENT on them.
  • A message on the bill said either e-payment or auto-bank draft.

2. Check the Checkbook Ledger

  • I looked in both the checkbook ledger and on the monthly bank statement to see if the payment was debited from there. About half the bills were debited from the checking account.

3. Check the Credit Card Statements

  • I next went to the monthly credit card statements.
  • As we had more than one credit card, I had to look at multiple accounts.
  • My wife liked to earn cashback when possible with credit cards. So she paid as many bills as possible to obtain the “cash back” bonus.
  • Even with credit cards, we paid off the bills each month.

4. Check for Email Notifications of Bills Due

  • Some companies notified us that we had a payment due
  • Other’s notified us that they were about to debit an account for the payment.

5. Check for Text Messages (SMS) Notifications of Bills Due

  • Some companies notified us that we had a payment due
  • Other’s notified us that they were about to debit an account for the payment.

6. Write Down and Compile Your Information

  • Write down the name of the bill. This tells you who the bill is from.
  • What the bill was for.
  • The name of the service provider.
  • The service provider contact information for billing issues as well as for customer support.
  • The account number.
  • The due date.
  • If it was paid by check via US Mail or by a credit card where the card number was entered on the bill and mailed back each month or by credit card auto-payment or an auto-payment bank draft.

Next, we will look at what to do once you’ve determined to whom you owe money.


Photo Source: Image by lcb from Pixabay

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