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More simplification--automatic bill payments

August 27th, 2006 at 12:59 pm

For a long while, I've had our two most important bills paid automatically each month--the mortgage and our car insurance. Also, heaven knows, I have lots of automatic savings deposits set up. I've been a little leery of automating any more, but it feels like it's time. I feel more confident that enough money will be in checking to cover the bills as they come due, and I also had that recent scare where I almost forgot to pay a cc bill. So this past week I set up the cable, phone and electric bills and the HSBC cc payment.

I set them all up through the billpay on our checking account, NOT at the payee's end. I don't want some unusually high payment taken out automatically, unbeknownst to me. I set up equal payments to HSBC so it gets paid off in January. The cable bill was easy, as it's always the same. A whopping $10.23. Smile

The phone and electric company weren't so easy, as the amounts vary. But I figured out that the phone bill averages just under $23 a month, so I made it an even $23. I'll be paying a little extra some months to build up a credit for the months when it's a little higher. The electric bill is a few dollars lower in the summer because we're on their "cool customer" program. (They can cycle off our a/c if demand is too high.) But I set it up for the normal amount; I can just wait and reap the benefit of those overpaid summer bills when they reset our budget billing in the spring.

I'm waiting to do the gas company, as they'll be readjusting our budget billing next month.

Still trying to figure out how I might want to automate cc payments for the cards I'm actually using.

I do feel like I want to build up more of a cushion in checking because of this, even though it doesn't earn interest. It would buy some time for DH if something happened to me, and he needed to figure things out. Also, I've got to write up what I've done and make sure he knows where the info is.

If anyone else has experience in fully automating payments and such, I'd appreciate any advice.

5 Responses to “More simplification--automatic bill payments”

  1. Kris10leigh Says:

    We have absolutely every bill automatically paid, with the exception of quarterly or annual bills like our lawn service and amusment park passes.

    I have a separate account set up at a bank far away that I have limited access to. None of that is necessary, but it helps to keep us away from using that account. My entire pay goes into that account. Most of the bills are automatically deducted (the company takes out the money) and some are automatically paid (the bank pays the company). Fixed bills are easy. Non-fixed are a little more tricky. I log on frequently to make sure everything is running smoothly and nothing was outragiously above normal.

    This account is definitely cushioned. Also, I get 26 pays so twice a year I get an extra pay. Every now and then when I accumulate an abundance of cushion, I either transfer some to savings or I send the accumulated funds to the CC.

    Because this bank is far away and it is difficult to deposit money outside of my direct deposit, I do not touch this account. In this way, it kind of acts as a savings plan for me. The money just accumulates and I don't touch it.

    One last thing. Wink I love this system! No more late fees. No more worries. No more stamps. No more stacks of paper bills. No more time spent paying bills. I buy far fewer checks.

  2. contrary1 Says:

    I want a cable bill as low as yours!!!

  3. yummy64 Says:

    I've paid all my bills other than rent and now my parking by automatic debit for years. I do get the statements and checked with all of them that should there be an issue one month I can call them and it can be turned off for a month or the amounts adjusted. I do my savings this way too.

    But, I also keep a large float in my checking account. Maybe not the most frugal thing to do but it works nicely for my peace of mind. Peace of mind is worth a trade off in interest at least for me.

    I'm lucky my two cheques to write are both on the first of the month. Makes it easier not to forget.

  4. princessperky Says:

    I finally got it all automated and I love it..never use a check!
    well hardly ever

  5. debtfreeme Says:

    i keep a spreadh sheet of all this information: banking accounts, the bills i pay, the budget, and each time i make a payment through the online system i write dow the confirmation number, the date paid the amount and when it was due as a comment on the spread sheet.

    I keep a copy of all this with my fiancial papers so that my mom or sister could take care of closing all the accounts a such should i die. the passwords for everything are locked up in the safety deposit box that we share so that they can access them if necessary.

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