I was really late jumping on this bit of technology.
Back in December, I decided to consider abandoning the check book for most of my monthly bills.
I signed up to pay online with the various utility companies and my cell phone provider. Those are pretty much the only variable monthly bills I have.
I went to all of their various websites and filled in my information, set up a gazillion logins, passwords, and security questions — most of which I’ve forgotton because they require upper and lower case with a few symbols thrown in for good measure — and then paid my first bill (but still requested to be mailed paper statements).
That turned out to be a big old waste of time as my checking account with Bank of America offers free BillPay and they have a nice drop down list of the companies that you can “pay” using their service. As luck would have it, all of my utility companies were listed.
I should have checked there first. Duh?
Now I’ve always been one to pay my bills the day they arrive in the mail. While that may not be a smartest move — sending payments in weeks before they’re due — I’ve never been close to missing a payment.
One less thing to have to sweat.
But with the online payments, it’s even nicer. You get to pick the date, and that’s the date the money comes out of your account. I’m still paying weeks in advance (though that may change once I get used to it), but it’s so much easier to balance the account when you’re not waiting for checks to clear.
Really, Comcast would hold on to a check for an average of 18 days, often making me wonder if my payment was “lost in the mail.” It’s like Bill Slowsky is actually working there and not just the on-air talent…
On Saturday, I set up my natural gas bill to be paid on March 18 (today) and guess what? Yep, my checking account shows that I’m $313 poorer today. Excellent.
Nothing fuzzy about that.
It’s not so much about saving money (I’m sorry, stamps are still a bargain), or time (does it really take that long to write a check?), or even the environment (since I’m still receiving paper statements, going “green” evidently doesn’t interest me all that much either)…
It just allows you to be more organized and on top of things when it comes to your finances.
Or maybe it just has that effect on me.