Using the Internet to Stop Nickel and Diming

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Keeping your budget on an even keel from month to month is no easy feat. There are so many major expenses to take care of, you might not notice the small ways you’re spending money you don’t have to spend every month. Fortunately, there are simple and easy ways to take steps to eliminate those small expenses so you’re not nickel and diming yourself into an early grave, and over time, the savings can really add up. One of those ways is to take advantage of online bill payment systems.

Most of your utility companies have online bill payment systems nowadays, as do most non-utility companies. By creating an account on these sites and setting up automatic monthly payments to be withdrawn from your checking account on or before the due date of your bill, you avoid the costly late fees that can really rack up on you if you forget to send that check in on time through the mail. It saves you the cost of a stamp, as well as the cost of your paper checks, on top of being a good way to eliminate some stress in your life. If the payments are set up to be made automatically, it won’t matter if you forget the bill is due tomorrow.

This is also particularly useful for those of us that forget the bill until the last minute and then try to avoid the late fees by phoning a payment in. Phoning in a payment is definitely convenient, but the convenience isn’t always worth the fees attached to the process. “Small telephone convenience fee” translates directly into “You could’ve done this cheaper another way, chump.”

Online bill paying can often be made even simpler by going through your bank rather than each individual service company. Rather than having to set up a separate account for electric, gas, water, cable, phone, etc, on each of their respective websites, you may be able to just set up automatic payments through your bank account. To find out if your bank offers such a service, and how to get it set up, just give them a call or ask your teller next time you stop in.

This is, of course, only helpful if you know you’ll have the money in the account each and every time a withdrawal is made. A late fee on your electric bill will most likely not be as costly as a bounced check fee, so consider the whole thing carefully before proceeding. If the money not being there isn’t a factor, however, then online bill payment systems are definitely a great way to plug up and prevent tiny leaks in your financial boat.

Written by admin

August 15th, 2008 at 7:59 am

Posted in Money

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