Convenience determines the success of just about every type of product. And for time-strapped consumers who are looking for quicker ways to do just about everything, convenience is a premium that can’t be overlooked. The claim that time is money means that we can benefit financially from these conveniences as well. As Benjamin Franklin observed, “Lost time is never found again,” and we should make every attempt to use time-saving techniques and save money, especially on the mundane tasks of life — such as paying bills.
As simple as it sounds, one of the most time-consuming chores that comes with responsible living is taking
care of household finances. Establishing a budget, working out a time table for paying bills, depositing funds into a bank account, writing checks and then balancing the checkbook are repeated month after month.
Time-saving options that can save you money
Two time-saving ways to manage your bills are auto-pay and paperless services. By using these tools, you’ll enjoy more free time and save money by eliminating the need to purchase checks and stamps. Plus, late fees and penalty rates will be a thing of the past when you incorporate these services.
Many corporations offer both options as a courtesy to their customers. Many people consider auto-pay and paperless payment options synonymous. But while they both offer a great degree of convenience, there are distinct differences. Whether your choose to use one or both services will depend on how you live.
- Auto-pay is a hassle-free, convenient bill payment option, sometimes referred to as ‘set and pay’. Perhaps the most important benefit is that you’ll never miss a payment by paying your bills automatically each month. Your payment will be automatically deducted from your checking account, debit or credit card. If you’d like a printed copy of your bill, many companies will comply and send it by mail, but you will no longer have to send in a traditional payment.
- Paperless billing eliminates the monthly statement mailed to your home and instead is sent to your email address. You’ll be able to access your account activity online.
Why should you go paperless and use auto-pay?
Saving time is an admiral goal for using paperless and auto-pay services. In addition, there are advantages that make the tools even more appealing:
- Free up your to-do list. Traditional bill paying takes a lot of planning. When is it due, do I have stamps, how late can I mail the check? By using auto-pay your only concern will be whether there is money in the account.
- Account management accountability. Without the tactile impressions of paper statements as a reminder to pay, you will pay more attention to your spending habits and mindful of the status of your bank accounts when using an auto-pay service.
- Never make a late payment. If the payment is set to automatically come out of your checking account, it does. As long as funds are in the account, you are guaranteeing no late fees.
- Save money. No more checks, stamps, envelopes or late fees.
- Conserve resources and energy. Both paperless and auto-pay services eliminate the need for paper. Auto-pay also conserves energy when there is no need to use the mail service to deliver your payment.
It may take getting used to when switching to paperless, but you may be surprised to find how much more on top of things you become. With the option to check your account activity online, you can log on at any time of day or night. This option alone will add a degree of security to managing your bank accounts. Fraudulent or unauthorized activity will be visible even sooner.
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