Monday, July 3, 2023

Home on Mondays: Managing a Household

Managing a household is easy when you have a system in place. I learned the ropes the hard way through the years. I realized though that it's mostly about paying bills on time. It became easier when utility companies made their bills available online.

At some point I had to manage two households in two different countries. I'm now also managing my ancestral house. Here's a list of what I do to make home management easier:

1. Bills - Use a spreadsheet to track bills. Here's what I have in the columns: date paid, property, bill/utility, due date, account number and amount paid. I colored the cells also so I can easily track the due dates. 

2. Appliances - I have another spreadsheet where I track the appliances we purchase. This is where I list the brand, serial number, amount and where we bought the item. This makes it easier in case we need something repaired. I also learned that it's better to stick to the same brand for airconditioners since it's easier to manage when you need repairs or cleaning. 

3. Suppliers - I also keep a separate list for suppliers and repair centers. We used to just keep receipts, but it gets gnarly when you need to find information. Having the info on a spreadsheet makes it easier to track. 

4. Access Bills Online - the problem of waiting for paper bills is sometimes they come late. I access all our bills online and have signed up for SMS notifications when it's available. I also pay at least two days before the deadline to be sure my payment is credited on time.

5. Sign up for notifications - it's really helpful to sign up for utility notifications. I get notified by Maynilad and Meralco whenever there is a service interruption.

6. Set grocery dates - proper planning prevents poor performance. I set grocery buying 2x a month for my Mom's helper. She just sends me a list and I just buy it online. Easy peasy. 

7. Find reliable help - I have a list of suppliers I call whenever I need help. There's who helps us clean the house every so often. There's the gas provider I SMS whenever they ran out at Mom's. And there's our architect and his team who helps us with house repairs. 

8. Annual Bills List - don't forget to make a list of annual Bills you have to pay. This usually includes, real estate tax, insurance and homeowners fees*.

Managing a household can be overwhelming. My spreadsheets have been keeping me sane and I'm really happy that utility companies made it easier to access bills. I don't even need to go out of the house to pay bills anymore. I just need to keep up with the documents I've been stuffing in my drawer of shame, haha. Need to file them soon. 

*They usually give a discount if you pay in full annually.

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