Pay Bills Online and Save

StampsThese days, most companies (including banks and utility companies) have websites and online payment options. Those that don’t often accept payments by phone. If you are still using snail mail to pay your bills each month, you could be saving $60 or more, depending your number of bills, each year by switching to payments by internet or phone. Consider the following example:

Our monthly household bills look something like this: electric, gas, water & sanitation, 2 mortgages, cell phone, home insurance, auto insurance, 2 credit cards – an average of 10 bills per month. The cost of a first-class postage stamp is $0.41 ($0.42 starting May 12, 2008), and the cost of a personal check for us is about $0.07. (Since the companies usually provide the envelopes, we won’t count the cost of an envelope.) So the cost of mailing one bill is $0.48. At 10 bills a month, that amounts to $4.80 a month, and a total savings of $57.60 each year. A larger household with children and more bills could save even more than this.

If the company doesn’t have a website, it usually has a toll-free number you can call to pay by phone. Some companies allow you to set up automatic monthly charges to your credit card or withdrawals from your bank account, which could save you a lot of time.

Another option is through your bank or credit union’s online banking program which often includes free bill paying service. You can set up one time or recurring payments and your bank will mail a check for you. The recipient can be a company or an individual such as a landlord or babysitter.

In the years that we’ve used online payment options, we have never had problems with security or errors and never have to worry about the check getting delayed, lost or stolen in the mail. And we always pay with a credit card whenever we can. To see how you can save more money by paying with a credit card, please refer to our previous post Credit Cards Really Aren’t So Bad.

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