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Gadgetell Guide: How to save time by paying your bills online

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person doing finances by handWith today’s hectic schedules, there is less and less time for us to do the important things and still have time for fun. Most of us are also trying to fit more stuff into less space. One way to get back some time for yourself and eliminate piles of papers is to start paying your bills online. You’ll have less paper to handle and you won’t have to worry about writing checks, addressing envelopes, or having enough stamps. So, how do you begin?

Step 1: Assess your bills

First, you should make an assessment of the bills you currently receive and pay. Once you have a picture of who your service providers and companies are, you should check out their websites to see if any of them offer a recurring or autopayment option. In the alternative, you can go to your bank’s website and see if they have a bill pay feature. Nowadays, most banks have such a service, though some do charge a fee for it. Some banks make use of an eBill (electronic bill) system, which sends an electronic version of your full bill to your bank, thereby eliminating your paper bills.

Step 2: Set reminders

After setting up your recurring payments and/or bank bill pay, go ahead and set reminders in your calendar to check that your payments are going through and to look over your statements for any unusual fees or charges.

Step 3: Belt and suspenders

If you like having records of your bills offline, you can usually download your eBill or your statements from your service provider or company or to your computer. Simply set up a folder for each provider and company, just like you would in a paper-based file cabinet. This step is not for everyone, but it’s good for those who like the belt and suspenders approach.

Bonus tip: Pay for necessities and get rewards

When looking at your options for online payments via a specific provider or company’s website, you should assess the rewards program for each of your credit cards – you may be able to rack up those points, miles, or cash back just by paying your monthly bills. As an example, my heating oil company has a credit card payment option at its website, so, I used my Discover Card each time I had to pay for an oil delivery. By doing so, I kept the funds in my interest-bearing checking account an extra month, while also quickly increasing my Discover cashback bonus.

The bottom line

If you are still unsure whether you want to make the switch, whether your bank offers bill pay, or just how much time you’ll save – check out eBillPlace.com, which has savings calculators, bill pay demos, and a bank bill pay service search. Remember, if you’re just starting to switch to online bill payments, your initial setup time may be at least an hour or more, but once you’ve got the system going, the time you spend each month paying bills will be dramatically reduced – in other words, you’ll have more time to enjoy life.

See: [eBill Place]

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4 Comments

  1. great article, thanks.

    james73
  2. Good article Meryln – I especially like the ebill service my bank offers so I not only pay my bills online but also get them their too (and without the friggin paper!) – its really convenient…I also have them set up on recurring payment so I dont get hit with late fees…my bottom line: except for maybe the first time who the heck likes to shred paper?

    Eddie

    Eddie
  3. The reason I started paying bills online is because it saves time. No more paper bills for me! I use a toolbar called Billeo that e-mails reminders of upcoming payment due dates and saves receipts. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/12715 Very handy for those of us who pay bills online. It's a password manager too. Security is not an issue as it VeriSign secured and TRUSTe certified.

    danathompson
  4. There is really no reason to stick with the paper bill thing, ebills are so much more convenient PLUS they save paper which is always a good thing. Turn off all your paper statements and get them all in one place for the ultimate bill paying convenience!

    Jillian Frye