Next week is National Pay Your Bills Week. Isn’t that exciting? Okay, so it’s not. It’s important though. Like filing, death, taxes and going to the dentist, bill paying is a must.
How could it be easier?
Use online banking. I believe this is a very safe way to pay, despite recent alarms. You have to do your part to make it safe, however.
- Don’t click on links from bank emails! Just don’t ever do it. Many intelligent people have been scammed this way. Go to your bank website, log in and check for messages.
- Check that the website address starts with https instead of just http. The “s” means the site uses encryption. Windows users will see a closed padlock indicating encryption at the bottom right of their screens.
- Create passwords using letters and numbers, not common words. Here’s a post I wrote about how to make good passwords. Keep them safe! I record mine using hints only as described in the post.
- Change your passwords regularly, at least twice a year.
Even if you don’t want to bank online, you can save trees and reduce clutter by getting your bills electronically. And don’t print them out! I do recommend downloading the PDF version if you want to keep a record. Sometimes your bills are only on the website for a few years and you may have to pay a fee to recover old ones.
Schedule days every month to pay bills and put them in your datebook. I use email reminders in iCal to pay my bills twice a month. Choose dates that allow for online processing or mail delivery so your payments aren’t late.
What’s to be gained by doing this?
- Freedom from worrying about what is due when, and paying bills multiple times per month.
- No more late fees!
- Spending less time on a task you don’t really like anyway 😉