I’ve always resisted fully automating our finances. Recently, however, I’ve had a change of heart. Now, not only are most of our monthly bills paid online, but I’ve also automated deposits for savings, and payments towards our mortgage.
We have a power bill, a telephone bill, a satellite bill, and a cellphone bill. Each of these is delivered electronically, via email. The only “paper” bill that we receive is the one from our local water department. With online and instant access to our accounts, it’s extremely easy to pay bills, check current balances, and keep things organized. As the bills arrive in my inbox, I look them over, make sure that everything looks to be in order, and make payments via online bill pay.
Our bank allows us to not only pay bills via bill pay, but to receive them as well. I recently used this service to automate the payment of our various automobile and life insurance payments. Using this e-bill service, I never have to worry about stamps, envelopes, late fees, or due dates. The bill arrives and it gets paid. I also have the option to delay payment for a few days, so that I can review a particular invoice or bill.
I’ve even automated, through the bank’s bill pay feature, weekly payments for various services, like child care and kids’ gymnastics. The checks are mailed directly and I never have to worry about remembering the checkbook.
Our cash reserves, somewhat depleted by the recent home purchase, are being rebuilt, one automated weekly deposit at a time. Each week, a fixed amount is withdrawn from our primary checking and deposited, automatically, into our online savings account. This “set it – and forget it” system really is a great way to rebuild savings.
The payments and deposits are all controlled by me, via online banking. In other words, I haven’t given “pull” authority to any of the companies with which I do business. My payments aren’t automatically deducted – but they are automatically sent. I can cancel them, review them, or change them, any time I want. I am in control.