Online Bill Pay Can Mean Savings and Costs for Atlanta Bill Payers
When it comes to paperless billing, sometimes it's easy to forget businesses don't have our best interest in mind.
Credit card issuers, phone and cable companies, even our city's garbage collector like to tell us that online bill pay is green, fast, cheap and simple. And it is - for them. Big companies stand to save potentially millions by reducing paper and postage costs. As for us? It depends, according to Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys. While there are definitely benefits, it's can be all too easy for the costs (which businesses conveniently forget to warn you about) to cancel them out - especially if you've already got a problem with debt.
In its simplest form, going paperless is an improvement. You have less envelopes and other trash to throw away, you don't need to write a check, you save money on stamps and save time and gas by taking fewer trips to the post office.
But here's what companies pushing paperless won't tell you. Unless you're already meticulously organized, switching to paperless billing will take some adjusting. I know from personal experience. The first time I signed up for online bill pay, I missed my first statement and got hit with a late payment fee and a ding on my credit report. Now, I pay my bills on time 99.9% of the time. But since this particular statement was for a store credit card I don't use regularly, I wasn't expecting a bill that month. Furthermore, it happened to show up between a bunch of junk e-mails. And in this particular case, I didn't even realize I had signed up for paperless billing (long story short, make sure to read everything you sign).
Fortunately, I've finally gotten the hang of paying bills online - and it's finally paying off. Part of my experience was due to bad luck, but most was my own fault for not being very organized. Today, I pay several bills electronically - bills I know to expect each month, like my wireless bill, my main credit card bill and my cable service bill. I still rely on snail mail for accounts I use less frequently, because I think it's all too easy to miss a bill I'm not anticipating. That said, I also set up a special e-mail account for all finance-related correspondence; since it never gets cluttered, it's easy to keep track of statements. It's kind of nice to have an electronic record of all the payments I've made recently.
Ultimately, the best paperless billing system is the one that works best for you. Maybe that means marking your calendars with the date each bill usually arrives in your inbox. Maybe it means setting up a new e-mail account. Maybe it means rigging up an automatic payment system so funds go straight from your bank to your creditors, whether you remember to open the bills or not (though it really is a good idea to take a peek at your statement each month). And if you just can't seem to find a system that works? Often times, it's because your finances are overwhelmed by debt. When you try our free personal debt analysis, an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney can determine whether bankruptcy is a solution. With less debt to stress over, paying the bills will be easier - no matter how you do it.