While going through my piles of unopened mail (mostly bills) the other day, I decided I’d had enough and finally took the plunge into the world of Paperless Billing and Statements. Even though I’ve been fully online – shopping, selling, socializing, banking and bill paying – for years now, for some reason, I’d always felt hesitant about not receiving hard copies of my bills. But after years of accessing my accounts and paying bills online, and running out of places to stash all my account statements, I’ve decided that it’s probably a better system that will end up saving me money, time (which is also money), space and paper cuts.
The Benefits of Paperless Statements
- Saves Time
Time is money, so the time you would spend organizing and filing your account statements would be cut down. Filing would just consist of logging into your account and downloading the statements to your computer. Most accounts will allow you access to several years’ worth of statements, so you don’t need to do this every month, but can wait and do all your filing at once a couple of times a year.
- Saves on filing equipment
No need for file cabinets (which are very costly), folders, labels and organizers, and no need to upgrade to larger or additional file cabinets as your files increase in volume.
- Saves space
Digital storage is becoming more affordable and space efficient so they take up considerably less space than file cabinets, making it easier to keep your home and office organized and clutter-free.
For example, this Iomega Desktop Hard Drive, USB 2.0, 750GB – 33750 for just $110, costs considerably less than a file cabinet, takes up a fraction of the space of a file cabinet and has capacity for at least a decade’s worth of bills and statements. It also looks a lot nicer than a file cabinet, which often doesn’t look that great in a home environment.
- Saves money
Some companies have already begun to charge for paper statements. When I enrolled in Paperless Billing for my T-Mobile account, I was informed that I will be charged $1.99 per month if I revert back to paper statements. Perhaps if companies can save on billing costs, they can pass the savings on to us consumers by offering lower fees for their services.
Also, by paying bills online, not only do you save paper, but postage. Check out an earlier post of mine, Pay Bills Online and Save, on how we save about $70 a year by paying our bills online.
- Saves the Planet
Obviously. Some companies, again T-Mobile for example, are promoting Paperless Billing by planting a tree for each customer that changes to paper statements, so you’re no only saving current trees but adding to them.
- Earn money
This depends on the company. Certain companies such as my Chase Amazon Visa account, offered 500 reward points, the equivalent of $5.00, for switching to Paperless Statements. Not a bad deal for doing something that’s going to save me time and money.
So not only is this the smart choice for those with regular computer and internet access, but the green, environmentally-friendly choice. Most of our bills and bank statements received via snail mail remain unopened anyway because I usually just go online to check the amount and make the payments when the bills are due.
Of our 12 monthly bills and bank statements, we are able to receive Paperless Statements for 9 of them, which will reduce our annual mail volume by 108. This will be quite a relief as our file cabinet really can’t take anymore. I only wonder what took me so long.