I hate paying bills. But who doesn’t?
It’s so arcane to take a couple hours out of a beautiful day, or a night when you could be sleeping, or otherwise doing something fun or productive, and write a ton of checks and stuff a lot of envelopes and stick a lot of stamps.
Today, you’re going to set your bills to pay themselves. And then you’re going to spend the time you used to waste writing checks and do something fun instead.
Sounds pretty good, right?
Today’s the day you’ll never forget to pay a bill again.
Most of the monthly recurring services you’re using likely have a way to sign up for automatic payments where, once a month, on a specified date, money is taken from your bank account and applied to your bill.
You can likely do this for your:
- Car Payments
- Credit Card
You’ve already set your savings to be transferred automatically; now it’s time to do it for your bills.
The Easiest Way to Set up Auto Payments
While there are ways to tell your bank to make payments of a certain amount on a recurring basis, the easiest way to ensure that your bills are being paid precisely is to sign up with your service provider.
Head to the Web site of each of your fixed costs and look for a link that says something to the effect of “Autopay my bill” or “Sign up for automatic payments.” Each of your services is likely to say something different, so you may have to do a little sleuthing.
When you’re ready to set up the auto payments, have on hand the account information for your main checking/debit account.
Do this for each of your services. It will take a little bit of time, but it’s worth it!
3 Reasons to Pay Your Bills Automatically
Having your bills basically pay themselves is one of the most convenient aspects of Automatic Finances. Beyond the convenience, here are three reasons to pay your bills automatically.
- Never Forget Another Bill – When your bills are set up with autopayments, you’ll never forget to pay one again. You may have a great memory, but why bother taking the chance that you’ll never mess up?
- No More Late Fees – When your bill gets paid on time every month, you’ll never get a late fee. Even if you mail your check before the bill is due, what happens if the Post Office loses it? Don’t risk paying more for a bill or getting stuck with a fee.
- Save Yourself Time – Your time is valuable. Do you really want to spend it sitting around, sorting through your mail, writing checks and licking envelopes?
Like many other services, your provider may offer you a break if you set up automated payments. Be sure to look for any deals or offers they have when you’re signing up.
TIP: Keep track of what day of the month money will be withdrawn for your bills. You want to be sure that you aren’t getting hit with every bill all at once, leaving you with little to no money in your main checking account for day-to-day purchases.
About the author: Jason is the author of Automatic Finances: 17 Days to Your Financial Freedom, a guide to automated money management. He started investing thanks to a free lunch, and after finding out how he was getting the short end of the stick, he sought out how to do it right. More »