Paying bills is one of those necessities of life that no one relishes and yet no one can avoid. BillBaba is a free web app by an Indian startup that at least makes it easier for you to remember to pay them, so you don’t incur late payment fees and don’t have to take on the stress of keeping track of bill payments manually.
BillBaba does double and triple duty as a way for you to keep track of your expenses and as a reminder system for money you have lent or borrowed. It lets you sign up using your Facebook account (I don’t prefer to use this one since Facebook is tracking us even we log out of their site), so all it takes to get started are two mouse clicks. Once done, you can start adding reminders for credit card, electricity, telephone and other utility bills, along with a host of other choices.
When setting up a new reminder, you can specify the frequency with which it needs to be paid, whether it be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly or once every couple of months, or choose the one-time option. Once you fill in all the fields, like description, due date and alert threshold (how many days in advance you need reminders to start from), you can have the app remind you via email, Facebook or text message (option being available only to residents of India)
When you receive a reminder, you can reply to the email with the amount, as demonstrated in the video below, or use the BillBaba Facebook or Web app to mark it as paid and stop receiving reminders until the next due date rolls around. A Bill Calendar also lets you take an at-a-glance look at the various due dates in any given month for all the bills you have added.
The analysis features of the app help you figure out how much you are spending on all those bills with the help of graphs that show you spending over time, by bill or by category. A payments summary lets you keep tabs on all your payments that have been logged with the app.
The app also has a goals feature that lets you define a goal with the amount of savings it requires. You can first calculate how much you need to save per month based on the total amount you need to save and how far into the future you see yourself making the purchase. The app factors in the annual rate of interest when making the calculations. Once you add a goal, BillBaba periodically reminds you to save for it and you can keep logging your savings towards the goal. When the hallowed moment arrives, it will send you an email congratulating you on achieving your goal.
BillBaba also has a feature that allows you keep track of money you have lent or borrowed. Once you specify how much you have lent and to whom, it will send an email to that person asking them to register. If they do, BillBaba will then periodically remind them to pay you back your money (and it gives you control over how soon it should start doing that). Similarly, you can set up a reminder for yourself when you have borrowed money from someone else. You can adjust the amount later to account for part payments and mark the debt as settled once it is done.
BillBaba proudly notes that “it’s free & always will be”, but would have been quite impressive even if it had been a paid service. As mentioned before, it is by an Indian startup and specifically geared towards Indians, as evidenced by the lack of its SMS reminders in any other country, but would be almost equally as useful for citizens of other countries as well. If you need to keep track of your bills, give BillBaba a try.