Sunday, July 29, 2012

Online Bill Pay


Save Money by Paying Bills Online

I have used online bill pay since March 11, 2011 when my bank sent me an email asking me to sign up for online bill payment and offered me a $50 bonus for registering.  At the time, I signed up just to receive the $50 bonus, but as time went on I continued to use online bill payment because of the convenience and monetary savings.  Eventually, I realized this habit had saved our family a significant amount of money in the past seventeen months.

I did some figuring and broke it down to see how much money I have saved over the past seventeenth months. I currently have twelve bills that I pay every month and one bill that I pay twice a year. 

I wasn’t sure about the cost of a postage stamp since the invention of the Forever Stamp, so I had to check online to make sure that a postage stamp costs 45 cents. 

My checks come from Carousel Checks, since they have always been the least expensive checks for me. I can order only half a box of checks, since one box will last me for years, which is 125 checks for $3.99, which works out to 3¢ per check. 

Cost of Checks 3¢ per check

Cost of Stamps -45¢ per stamp

12 monthly bills would cost me $5.76 per month 

4 bi-yearly bills would cost me $1.92

Yearly Cost $71.04

Total Cost Saved Over 17 Months: $100.08

This amount might not seem significant to some people, but to me $100.08 would go a long way in my budget because every penny I save is a penny I don’t need to earn. It is enough money to pay for at least four of my monthly bills. For many people this number will be significantly higher depending on the number of bills they have each month. 

If your bank charges for online bill pay you can shop around and find a new bank that does not charge for this service. Banks need your business and there are many large reputable banks that offer free online bill pay. Personally, I bank with First Tennessee and have been very pleased with their online bill pay service.

Do you use online bill pay? If so leave a comment and tell us about your experience with online bill pay.
 
Belinda
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2012.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”

5 comments :

  1. Hi Belinda,
    I use online and phone-in bill payments selectively, if the rewards are good. I can use my rewards/cash back Visa on our utility, medical/dental bills and home and car insurance, either online or by phone. We earn the rewards on the card while paying the bills. For the Visa bill itself, I know that it comes on or around a certain date every month, so I just have a reminder on my calendar to phone in my payment. No rewards to phoning in the Visa card payment, but I know its paid on time and in full and there will be no finance/late charges.

    I was just thinking the other day about the savings on checks and stamps from doing this. You're right, it really does add up.

    I still have a couple of bills that would cost me a bit more to set up the online service, so continue with checks for those.

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    1. Excellent point, Lili about earning rewards while paying your bills! I know I paid a portion of my Discover bill in June with my reward balance of $55.

      I think the only thing I write checks for these days are to my daughter's school. I love the convenience of online bill paying because it has freed up so much time.

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  2. This is one area where I will never be a Luddite. I love online bill pay. For things that I absolutely know will not change in amount from month to month, I have the payments sent out automatically at the same time each month.

    Before this, I finally figured out that I needed to call all of my vendors and ask for the due dates of the bills to be by X date. That way, I could just sit down and write the checks in one evening and everything got paid. When they came in at different times during the month, I'd bring the bill with me to work, meaning to mail it from there, and forget about it. Or something similar would happen. Sometimes I'd still misplace a bill. I am not very organized and get very easily distracted--sometimes I'd be late on a bill not because I didn't have the money but rather because I had misplaced it/forgotten all about it.

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    1. I love online bill pay too, Pamela. Like I was telling Lili, It has freed up so much of my time. I love the fact that I can just pay everything in just a few minutes and forget about it. It is one of the best things they ever created. :)

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