Time and Money Go Hand in Hand

For Day 8 of 31 Days to a Better Bank Balance, let’s start by arranging for something we could all use a little bit more of: spare time.

Do you enjoy getting the mail, and seeing a bill in there? Or maybe opening your email and seeing a statement? I’m guessing not. The only things I enjoy getting in the mail are packages, checks, and personal letters. (Yes, there are still people who write letters.)

The reason I dislike getting bills in the mail isn’t because they want money from me. Instead, it’s because every bill is something I have to do something with. I must make an effort to pay it, and to pay it on time. So if I’m not careful, it lands on the pile on my desk.

If you’re anything like me, piles cost you money. Because things get buried in piles, and before you know it a late fee accrues. They also cost you time, because you have to sit down, go through the pile, deal with everything in the pile, and then put the items away or shred them.

Automating your bill-paying can help avoid all that (or at least significantly speed up the process of getting through the pile, because all you’ll have to do is double check that the bill is correct and then file.)

There are two basic ways to make bill-paying automatic. You can literally set up bill pay with your bank (many banks offer this service for free), or you can set things up with the folks billing you so that payments are automatically drafted from the account of your choice. You can use your checking account or a credit card as the account of choice. I have almost all of my bills run through my American Express, and then I have my American Express automatically paid in full from my checking account each month. It works for me.

So if you’ve never tried out bill pay or have never set up a recurring bill to automatically draft from an account, save a little time (and probably money too) by giving the idea a try.