First, I guess I am not too qualified to make and suggestions since we are in a tight (to put it nicely) spot ourselves. But, something simple and pretty cheap… In the office section of your local Wal-Mart they sell financial folders. I have used these for years and Love them. It is spiral bound and has a page with a pocket for each month. You put your bills in the front and then when you have paid them you move them to the pocket of the folder for that month. I think that is how they want you to use it.
Also, there is a graph for each month on that month’s page where you write all your bills- what it is, when it is due, the amount due, the amount you paid and any comments/ conf. numbers, etc. It is simple and all hard copy so no worries about computer crashes, etc either. I save mine for three years so that if there were ever any questions I have all my records. I think they are about 7 or 10 dollars. I can see at a quick glance what I have and have not paid. Just a thought.
That is such a good suggestion I cant believe I forgot to mention it!! lol. I did this about 2 years ago because I kept forgetting things. I have all of our household/car and living expenses due at the beginning of the month and then the 3rd week of the month I pay all loans, credit cards and money(what little if any is left) into savings. It took me a couple of months to get it all squared away but its made things much easier. I know just by the date if I need to be taking care of bills or anticipating paying things. It helps if you are disorganized like I tend to be.
Maybe you haven’t given it enough time? Not knowing your complete scenario of income and expenses it’s hard to suggest anything specific. I know I’ve been using Quicken ever since it came out and before that a simple check balancing program. It helped me see where I was spending so that I soon became in the habit of not buying on compulsion. I now only buy what is needed. I have a throw away account where I budget about $10 a week to blow but I rarely use it.
Habit, it takes getting in the habit to quit spending and start paying off the debt. Once you aredebt free then the extra money each month goes into savings. Then, you buy with cash only there on out. Quit giving the banks your money as interest and late fees. I can’t dwell on this last statement enough. It makes me angry, get angry about it. It works.