With so many bills to pay, and so many accounts, it’s easy to see why some people become overwhelmed with their finances. Finances seem complex and scary when you have to write check after check each month, and keep track of all of the due dates — and make sure you mail your payments on time so that they arrive at the proper destination when they should. If you want to simplify your finances a little bit, you can pay your bills online. This makes it a little bit easier to keep track of what you owe, as well as help you ensure that your payments are on time.
Paying Bills Online
Most banks offer online bill pay for a small fee — or even for free. This feature allows you to make payments via your bank. You can set it up to make payments, on your behalf, to those whom you owe money. You can set up online bill pay to make utility payments as well as loan payments and credit card payments. In many cases, you only need to set up the billing process with your bank. Then, once a month, you log in an pay all your bills at once. It’s fast, simple and usually secure.
You can also use a version of online bill pay to schedule your other payments. This is especially popular with credit card payments. You can save your checking account information with the credit card company, and then log in and schedule a payment. This can make things simpler than trying to figure out when you need to mail a payment to make sure it arrives on time. With online payment scheduling, you know that your payment will be credited to your account on the appropriate day. Plus, you have the added bonus of taking advantage of the interest grade period, keeping your money in your account as long as possible. This is especially useful if you keep most of your money in an interest bearing account; you earn interest on your money for as long as possible (here are some tips on how to chose the right bank).
You can also simplify matters by setting up an automatic withdrawal for your bills. Many utility companies, service providers and lenders offer this option. Instead of having to actively log in each month and make a payment, you can have your monthly amount deducted from your checking account automatically. If you have personal finance software, all you have to do is schedule the transaction in to recur, and it will automatically appear. It’s a great way to simplify matters, and reduce the number of bills that you have to remember to pay.
Streamlining Your Finances
You can make it easier on yourself by streamlining your finances. Look for tools and personal finance applications that allow you to schedule payments or pay automatically, avoiding the paper that can complicate things. You should still check your accounts for accuracy, and you still want to pay attention to billing statements (have them delivered electronically) to make sure that everything is in order, but you can simplify matter significantly with the help of bill paying technology.
I use online bill pay thru my credit union. I set up everything and it is done automatically for me, so I don’t have to log in to have them paid. I set up the frequency (weekly, biweekly, monthly) and it just happens. I love that. I do run a spreadsheet and check my bill balances weekly. Most of my bills I pay weekly (that’s how I’m paid) and I’ve been able to payoff 3 bills and get ahead on my mortgage this way. I’ve been doing the Dave Ramsey snowball and having the money automatically deducted has really helped. Online bill pay is the way to go!