I was talking with a friend who had just spent the afternoon writing out checks to pay her bills, putting stamps on the envelopes, and driving to the post office to mail these inside (to avoid having them stolen from a collection box). We talked about how she can simplify her bill paying.
It took some doing, but I convinced her to start using online banking to pay her bills. The bank guarantees delivery by the due date, she can set up regular payments such as rent to be made automatically, and she saves postage, not to mention time.
Another option is to go directly to the company’s website and initiate payment from their site. No check needs to be written and you control how much and when the bill is paid. You can set up autopayment if you desire.
I do suggest to people that they continue to get paper bills. Once they switch to electronic billing and start receiving email notifications, chances are once the email comes into your inbox, it gets buried. It requires another step to find the email, click on the link in the body of the email, look up your password, and finally get to go look at your bill. Will you really take the time to remember to go back to that email, and will you click through to view your bill online? Besides, having that piece of mail in your hands is a tangible reminder that you must pay and when.
My next “project” will be convincing her that it is easy to use the bank’s app to deposit checks. The only time she should need to go to the bank then would be for cash withdrawals, or to visit the friendly tellers.
Have you switched to online banking? What’s holding YOU back?