Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I've Been Living in the 1800s

Paying Bills|Online Bill Pay|E-StatementsOk everybody, I have a confession to make: I've been living in the 1800s. Alright, maybe it's not quite that bad. But I've been being pretty dumb about something and today I'm going to tell you ALL about it. :)

As you can see on my side bars, I have a ton of different creditors and every month they all send me a bill in the mail. I also get bills from my internet provider, cell phone, home mortgage and two utility bills. That's all I can think of right now but I'm sure there's the additional odd bill or two coming at different times throughout the year too.

Without the odd bill here and there, I usually receive about 13 paper bills in the mail every month. (I don't get paper bills on my student loan, the loan to my parents, or paper bank statements.) That's a lot of clutter coming into my home every month!

Call me old-fashioned but I LIKE getting paper bills each month so I can look over them for each of my accounts. I'm not planning to sign up for e-statements on any of my accounts right now, but I am going to change how I pay my bills.

Here's where it gets worse: I still write out a physical check for each of my bills every month (except my mortgage, which I pay online) and mail them in an envelope with a stamp a few days before they are due.

This is a bad habit for a few reasons. One reason in particular is that I use at least 12 stamps every month to pay bills. This adds up to $5.88 in stamps every month! This doesn't include the cost of buying checks.

The sad part is that I have online accounts set up for the majority of my credit card accounts, I just kept paying them with a physical check by mail each month. This is something I am hoping to change. I am going to try and pay them via their online accounts from now on. This doesn't make a huge money savings, but $5.88 each month out of the $15-20 I budget for household "supplies" does make a difference. Plus I messed up this month and mailed one super early, resulting in a cash-flow issue, too many of these and you could find yourself in over-draft. YIKES!

Geez la-wheeze, I don't know what took me so long to make this change.

What method do you use to pay your monthly bills?

Note: Have you seen Catherine's post about Building Endurance over at Plunged in Debt? It is a great one!

Another Note: If you are interested in guest-posting at Shoeaholicnomore, email me at shoeaholicnomore[at]gmail[dot]com!

16 Comments:

At May 13, 2014 at 9:03 AM , Anonymous E.M. said...

My mom does the same thing. At least twice a month she sits at her desk and writes out all her bills and mails them out. I always thought it was too time consuming, but if it works for her, so be it. She doesn't really trust online banking. I never thought about the cost of stamps as I don't really mail anything.

I have mostly everything set up for autopay, or I have reminders of when bills are due so I can log on and pay them. I actually don't have checks as my bank wanted to charge me $30 for them!

 
At May 13, 2014 at 9:56 AM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

I order my checks through a company rather than through my bank, they are much cheaper through check companies. But still, eliminating writing that many checks and using that many stamps will be a savings each month of at least $5, plus it should take less time, once they're all set up.

 
At May 13, 2014 at 10:11 AM , OpenID sorcierefrugale said...

I pay all of my bills online. Not only it saves me time, papers and stamps but a lot of money too. I don't know for your companies, but mine in Canada charge 2$ per paper bill, per MONTH! So that's 24$/month for only one compagny ! It can adds up pretty quickly so that's why I changed my habits and no longer receive paper bills.

 
At May 13, 2014 at 11:03 AM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

That sounds like a good reason to pay online! Luckily mine don't charge for paper statements (except my bank accounts so I don't get paper statements on them).

 
At May 13, 2014 at 12:20 PM , Anonymous Tre said...

I use my online banking. Twice a month I sit down and schedule all the bills. Even if the company doesn't accept electronic payments, the bank will print a check and mail it at no cost.

 
At May 13, 2014 at 12:22 PM , OpenID theheavypurse said...

I pay most of bills online too. It's just easier for me. Plus, these days some companies do charge for paper bills. I guess it costs them money too. :) Sounds like a good plan to me. Just make sure to still review your bill, because the biggest mistake I see people make when they automate, is they stop looking at their bills and miss mistakes.

 
At May 13, 2014 at 2:32 PM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

Tre, this sounds like a great thing to look into! Thanks for sharing :)

 
At May 13, 2014 at 2:32 PM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

I'm not sure I'm going to eliminate getting paper bills just yet, I really like to hold them in my hands and review them, but I will be paying them online from now on. :)

 
At May 13, 2014 at 6:37 PM , Blogger More Than Just Money said...

I have been paying my bills via online banking for years and getting my statements electronically. However I do review every invoice before I pay it. I have caught a few accounting errors/strange service charges over the years.

 
At May 13, 2014 at 7:35 PM , Anonymous Hannah @ Wise Dollar said...

I pay my bills through online too. It's easier and more convenient!

 
At May 13, 2014 at 7:57 PM , Blogger debt debs said...

Oh my goodness, so you're the one keeping, Canada Post in business? Not much longer, I guess, plus I heard on the radio today that they're having big downsizings in the coming years.

I pay everything online and I love it! Actually, I loathe getting paper statements in the mail. Too much clutter for me. I can't keep up with the paperwork! Plus more to shred. Yucch!

 
At May 14, 2014 at 8:41 AM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

Yes, review of your bills is important. Sometimes I want to yell at my parents as my dad is guilty of not even opening his bills, etc and they are just set up on auto-pay. One of these days there's going to be a huge mistake and it's going to cost him since he didn't read the bill.

 
At May 14, 2014 at 8:41 AM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

That's what I'm hoping to find Hannah, I guess I'm just stuck in the olden days. Haha!

 
At May 14, 2014 at 8:42 AM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

Well, I'm in the US, so I guess I'm keeping USPS in business :)

 
At May 14, 2014 at 2:25 PM , Blogger debt debs said...

Whooopsy! Now why did I think you were in the Toronto area? Sorry about that.

 
At May 14, 2014 at 2:31 PM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

LOL, I don't know, but no worries :)

 

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