How to Pay Your Bills Online
Paying your bills online makes it a much easier process. It can free up time, save you money, and make your life that much easier. You have several options when it comes to paying your bills online. In reality, you will probably use a combination of the different options to pay the majority of your bills online.
Divide Your Bills Into Three Piles
First, you should gather all of your bills and divide them into three piles. The first pile should be the bills that are the same amount each month, such as loan payments or the cable bill. The second pile should be monthly bills that vary from month by month, such as the power bill or your credit card bill. The third pile should include bills that you do not pay regularly.
Set Up Automatic Drafts
You should start by setting up automatic drafts to pay all the bills that are a set amount each month. Most companies offer the option of signing up for an automatic draft. It is best to do an automatic draft only with bills that are consistently the same each month. You can set up recurring payments through the utility or loan company, or you can schedule it with your bank. Some companies charge a processing fee for automatic payments, so you may be better off setting it up to be drafted from your account automatically.
- Subscriptions to things like streaming services or cable usually fit into this category.
- Rent or mortgage payments are other options.
- Insurance payments will also fit underneath this category.
Use Your Bank's Payment Service
To set up a recurring payment with your banking account, you need to visit the Bill Pay section of your online banking page. You will set up a profile for the bill that you want to pay online. This profile will include your account number, the address that the payment will be sent to, and the company’s name. Then select set up a recurring payment. You will set a monthly date for the draft to come out. To make the process easier for you, you can also set this up on your computer software, so that it automatically updates for you as well.
- Some banks may limit the number of online payments you can make without a fee.
- Smaller banks may not have the same services as larger banks.
- Making the payments from your bank account may be able to save you time.
Determine the Bills You Will Pay Online Yourself Each Month
Next, you should consider the bills that you pay monthly that the amount varies from month to month. Paying this each month will help you to track your expenses more effectively and prevent you from overdrawing your account. First, you need to go into your bill pay account and set up a profile to pay the bill. Then when the time comes to make a payment, you will select the one-time payment option, click on the profile of the bill you are paying, and enter in the amount. Be sure to record the transaction number the bank gives you as a receipt.
- Paying your bills directly to the company gives you a tracking number if there are issues.
- You can do this with your utility bills and possibly your credit card bills to make paying off your debt easier.
Plan for Your Annual Bills
The irregular bills that you receive may be handled differently. It would include things such as your tag and registration renewal for your car, or it could be a quarterly bill. For these bills, you can set up a profile for them with your bank or simply visit the company’s website and pay the bill online. Generally, there is not a processing fee to pay the bill online if it is an irregular bill.
Scheduling is the Key
When you pay your bills online, you should schedule payment a few days before the payment is due. It will allow the payment to be on time if there is a holiday or weekend. Additionally, it gives you time to make corrections if the payment did not go through for some reason.
You can set up reminders in your budgeting software that will let you know that your payment should have been drafted from your account. It will help you keep a running balance of your checking account, and decrease the likelihood of overspending. You can save on banking fees if you stop yourself from overdrawing your account.
Although it is tempting to simply forget about your bills once you have set up automatic payments, it is important to check periodically to make sure that everything is being paid on time. It will prevent you from letting a mistake slide. You should still open your bills each month to make sure the payment has not gone up or that the account number hasn’t changed.
Another reason to check your bills each month is that the bills may go up. For example, a streaming service may raise its rates, or the insurance bill will generally go up each year. If you are checking them each month, you can determine if you want to continue to use the service or shop around for better rates. You should shop for insurance regularly.
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