Does your bank offer online bill pay? Do you use it to pay your bills? If you don't, why not?
We've used online bill pay at our bank for years, and I not only can I not imagine ever going back to writing checks and mailing them in, but it also helps us save money each and every month. Here's why:
- It's Convenient - I love that I can pull out my phone as soon as I receive a bill and pay it in less than a minute. It's just so much easier than paying bills the traditional way (with a check that I mail in).
- I Buy Checks Less Often - Rather than having to buy checks often because I'm sending out multiple checks per month to pay bills, we usually end up having to buy checks about ever year and a half (or less). I reserve checks for school/activity expenses when I don't have enough cash on hand. Although you can get good deals on checks, I would rather not buy them if I don't have to.
- I Save Money on Stamps - These days, I rarely have to buy stamps (except during the holidays for my Christmas cards) since I no longer mail checks to pay my bills. If my bank is offering bill pay as a service, I'd rather they set up an electronic transfer, or pay for the stamp to mail the check rather than myself.
- I Avoid Late Fees - Because it only takes a second to schedule a bill payment and I can schedule the payment for the future, I schedule my bill payments as soon as I receive the bills. Then, I don't have to set aside a special day to pay bills or wonder whether I remembered to pay that bill or not.
- I'm Protected Against Late Payments - If I've scheduled a payment, and it doesn't arrive by the scheduled date for some reason, I can contact my bank, and they'll take care of any potential late fees. I do typically schedule any payments that I know they need to mail a check for about a week before the due date just to be sure, though.
- I Decrease my Threat of Identity Theft with eBills - Rather than have a paper bill sent to my house (where thieves can steal my information), I request eBills if they are available. Each month I get an e-mail that my eBills are available. I look over the bill to make sure everything looks good, and schedule it right there in my account.
- I Reduce My Mental Strain - Rather than trying to keep track of all the bills in my mind (especially infrequent ones that are paid quarterly), I just schedule them as a recurring payment. I don't have to wonder or worry about whether the bills are paid. I know they are. Plus, all of my bills and payments are in one place. I can see upcoming scheduled payments, which I wouldn't be able to see if I had written a check or paid via the company's website.
What about you? Do you have a manual system for paying bills that works for you? Or do you pay your bills online through your bank?