There are multiple ways to pay your bills online and I just recently started to do this myself. I made the switch from snail mail with stamps to paying online for, at first, one reason but then as I started doing more of it I realized there are a bunch of really good reasons to use the online route:
It Saves Money
Purchasing less stamps, especially with their price ever-increasing, is a very good thing. You will also use less hand written checks and in turn need to purchase less than before.
It Saves Time
By the time I would write out all of my bills for the day, record them in a hand written ledger, put them in an envelope, place a stamp on them, and walk them out to my mailbox I could have been able to pay those same bills online, record them in my electronic budget, and go have a beer!
There is no need to hassle with multiple paper statements, checks, and envelopes. All you need to know is the date your bills are due, sign in to your account, and a few clicks later your bill is paid…oh and you do this all from the comfort of your office chair.
Just like any other online account you open regarding money you will have multiple security questions, security pictures, and passwords. After you sign in and pay your bill online you will have the option to print a hard copy receipt, but it’s not absolutely necessary as most of the payments you make will be recorded into your account information page.
It Keeps Good Records
There is always a record of everything when it comes to clicking things online and that goes the same for your financial transactions. It’s nice to find your past payments neatly organized for you with dates, amounts, late fees (if any), outstanding balances, and any other information they provide for you. This is good if you forget to record one of your payments in your own personal budget.
I haven’t had any trouble so far with the bills I have paid online and I use a couple different ways to get that done. Most of the payments I make are a one-time transaction. This gives me full control every month over when I pay the bill and how much I put down. I also have a few bills on an auto-deduction plan mainly for saving money purposes. For example, my insurance premium is discounted if I have my monthly payments deducted automatically from my checking account. I love working smarter, not harder!
As I mentioned there are many options like: auto-deduction, one-time payments, EFT’s (electronic fund transfers), bill pay programs, and others I know I have no clue as to what they are called, but in the end they all do a very similar thing.
The only 2 things to look out for that I have found so far is to make sure that you are not being charged a “convenience fee” for using the online payment services and that you give enough time for your payment to be processed.
A convenience fee – really is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of because you are saving the company time and money by paying online rather than having a person open up and record your payment. You would also be saving them even more time and money if you signed up for electronic (paperless) statements. I have only one bill that would charge me a fee for paying online so that one gets paid the old-fashioned way.
Payment processing – once you sign up for online payments check to see how the company handles the payment processing. Each one will most likely be different and you’ll need to know this so you don’t incur any late fees. For example, one of my payments takes two business days to post (on their end) after I click the confirm button and others don’t. So just be careful when your due dates fall and when you are actually making the payment.
Paying your bills online is very simple and since I have started doing it I have saved lots of time which for me is a very big factor as time is always in short supply. I would recommend to give the online route a try and if it works for you that’s great. If not you can always go back to paying your bills through the traditional mail system.