I doubt if anyone would list their favorite activity as paying bills. So it always amazes me that most people seem to do whatever they can to make it last the longest. The sad part is that they there are many tools to speed up the process, but these just don’t get used enough. Let’s take a “Pros vs. Cons” look at some tools below that may streamline your bill pay.
Auto-Pay Your Way to Streamlined Bill Pay
Pros: You can set up autopay once and forget about it. The vendor often provides this option directly on their website. To set it up, you will typically enter your ACH information (bank routing and account number) along with the amount to pay and the day to complete the transaction.
After that, your bills will be automatically debited from your account each month. It doesn’t require you to do anything (except for making sure that the money in the account to pay the bill).
Cons: If for some reason you don’t have the money in the account on the scheduled debit day, you may end up with expensive overdraft charges. Some vendors will allow you to change the date until you have funding straightened out, but others will only let you cancel.
Use Online Bill Pay To Make It Work The Easy Way
Pros: Most of the time your local bank will offer an online banking option. The setup involves creating payees and selecting the paying account. You can usually make a one-time payment from your bank without much effort.
But many are now offering an ongoing automatic bill pay option as well. This option is more flexible than using the vendor’s ACH option since you can easily modify the date of the payment in case of a cash flow issue.
Cons: Using online bill pay will require you to set up all of the payees into their system. This requirement is a one-time setup, but some lesser known payees may take extra effort to get in place.
Use a Banking App To Make It Snap
This is usually the mobile version of your bank’s website but designed for the mobile device. Most of the capabilities of the regular site are in the app, and it just keeps getting better.
The app makes it handy to take care of your bill paying while you are tied up with any of life’s regular activities.
For example, you can manage bills waiting for an appointment or at a slow sporting event. It would be wasted time anyway, so in this case, it can not only save you time but entertain you.
You will need to make sure that your phone has all the security in place. This effort includes keeping it updated with the latest security fixes as well. And if your phone has a remote wipe option in case of any nefarious activity, you would probably want to activate it.
With the use of the tools above, you can streamline your bill pay. Once you see how easy it is to speed up the paying process, you will wonder why you waited to take advantage of it. Unless, of course, you enjoy that one-on-one quality time with your bills and want it to last.
If this is the case, I would recommend not using the tools above to maximize your enjoyment. But for everyone else, I hope you find a way to make it as painless as possible.