Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-11-2012, 04:17 PM   #21
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,695
All utilities are on autopay PLUS budgeted for an even monthly amount (with no interest)

All credit cards and insurance premiums are paid online but not autopay (I want the flexibility to not pay the full amount from time to time).

Been doing the online thing since about 1986 with the old 'CheckFree' system

That's it. We write about 1 or 2 paper checks a month for the odd 'once a year' thing.
__________________

__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-11-2012, 11:15 PM   #22
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
One thing kept me from switching to autopay. I've heard about people who had trouble with autopay when they either tried to cancel a service (e.g. switching cell phone providers or gyms)...and the older provider kept deducting from their account even after the switch to the new provider.... or incorrect amounts were deducted.
I think the process has become much more common & standardized over the last decade. If you tell your bank to stop that deduction from your checking account, then they're supposed to stop. Banks have learned that they spend far more time & money unscrewing their mistakes (and countering the bad publicity) so they're doing a much better job on the changes. Especially when it's so easy to take your business elsewhere.

Same for credit cards-- you can challenge the charge and force it to be reversed.

We've put all but four of our bills online and on autopay through our checking account. We're waiting on the water company to update their 2nd-millennium billing system from bimonthly to monthly, and then it's also going online autopay.

I have not yet put our three credit cards on autopay, but I should do that in a month or two. Old-style thinking and lazyness.
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2012, 12:08 PM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,391
How does anyone handle any bills that can't be received online -- paper only -- and that don't allow online payment?

We receive one bill -- natural gas -- that there is no ability to even see the bill online or to receive it any way other than mail. You can pay it by mail or by dropping it in the dropbox. There is no ability to pay online. Now if I wasn't here I could use bill payment through my checking account to mail a payment. The problem would be if we took any long vacation that we would not see the bill since we couldn't look it up online.

How does anyone handle that kind of situation?

(For other bills I usually get bills electronically or I can look up online and I usually pay online. I usually don't do automatic payments although a few people require them to pay online and for those I do automatic payment).
__________________
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2012, 12:16 PM   #24
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,067
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
The problem would be if we took any long vacation that we would not see the bill since we couldn't look it up online.

How does anyone handle that kind of situation?
- Have a friend/relative gather your mail for you and call you with the amount of the bill when it arrives?
- Call the gas company a couple of weeks prior to the due date and get the amount from them?
- Estimate the amount based on past usage and send a check for slightly more than that amount? You will overpay for the month but the gas co will credit your account for the difference.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2012, 12:26 PM   #25
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
- Have a friend/relative gather your mail for you and call you with the amount of the bill when it arrives?
- Call the gas company a couple of weeks prior to the due date and get the amount from them?
- Estimate the amount based on past usage and send a check for slightly more than that amount? You will overpay for the month but the gas co will credit your account for the difference.
No one could do 1 (just moved to this area so don't have good friends and it isn't that close to any relatives who wouldn't be traveling with us)

No 2 -- they haven't been able to do this before

No 3 -- The best option which I think is the one we would use...
__________________
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2012, 12:37 PM   #26
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,013
Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
My payment preferences go like this:

1) auto pay via credit card (love those cash back rewards)

2) auto pay via checking account (this includes entire CC balances each month)

3) pay online with credit card

4) pay annual, semi-annual online via checking (for example, my property bill, and vechile registration allows for this)

5) pay via good old fashion checking

When traveling, if a bill is due that I really have to pay before I get back, I pay it online. So far, I haven't been away long enough to miss a bill payment. I try to go with paperless bills when possible.
This is what I do too. For income taxes (personal and corporate) I have to pay instalments, so once my accountant tells me what I will need to pay I just write all the monthly postdated cheques for a year. As the cheques are cashed, I can see them electronically on my bank's website. For credit card bills, I receive a text on my BB when a bill is issued, and I go online and check it. I save the bill as a PDF so I have a record, and I set up a transaction postdated to 2 business days before the bill is due (and always for the entire amount). If the account requires topping up, I set the transfer for the day before the bill is due.

This strategy saves $$$ in stamps, envelopes, etc., ensures that everything is recorded, and avoids surprises.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2012, 01:21 PM   #27
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
- Estimate the amount based on past usage and send a check for slightly more than that amount? You will overpay for the month but the gas co will credit your account for the difference.
That's what I used to do for 1980s submarine 90-day patrols...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2012, 02:30 PM   #28
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
This is what I do too. For income taxes (personal and corporate) I have to pay instalments, so once my accountant tells me what I will need to pay I just write all the monthly postdated cheques for a year. As the cheques are cashed, I can see them electronically on my bank's website. For credit card bills, I receive a text on my BB when a bill is issued, and I go online and check it. I save the bill as a PDF so I have a record, and I set up a transaction postdated to 2 business days before the bill is due (and always for the entire amount). If the account requires topping up, I set the transfer for the day before the bill is due.

This strategy saves $$$ in stamps, envelopes, etc., ensures that everything is recorded, and avoids surprises.
You can pay (IRS) taxes online via www.eftps.gov , including scheduling estimated tax payments.
__________________
Animorph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2012, 03:33 PM   #29
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Animorph View Post
You can pay (IRS) taxes online via www.eftps.gov , including scheduling estimated tax payments.
Useful information for people in the US. As I live in Canada, my taxes are paid to Revenue Canada. I could submit them electronically, but this is just the way I choose to do it.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2012, 04:17 PM   #30
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,822
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
How does anyone handle any bills that can't be received online -- paper only -- and that don't allow online payment?

We receive one bill -- natural gas -- that there is no ability to even see the bill online or to receive it any way other than mail. You can pay it by mail or by dropping it in the dropbox. There is no ability to pay online.
Wow! How dreadful. And here I thought that Louisiana was far more backward than Texas. At least we can pay all of our utility bills automatically.

In the unlikely event that you get bored in your semi-ER status, and if you haven't done this, you could always try going down to their office. If necessary, you could stand in line with those paying in person, or whatever you have to do in order to talk to a real human being face to face instead of on the phone. Then you could explain your dilemma. It sounds like a PITA and might not work, but then one never knows.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2012, 10:20 PM   #31
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Helen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Portland
Posts: 1,338
Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
One thing kept me from switching to autopay. I've heard about people who had trouble with autopay when they either tried to cancel a service (e.g. switching cell phone providers or gyms)...and the older provider kept deducting from their account even after the switch to the new provider.... or incorrect amounts were deducted.

Has anyone had these types of issues (or any others I haven't heard about)?

omni
We've had one problem with an autopay. Our cats knocked the DirectTV receiver off the television and it broke. We ordered a new receiver, but they billed us for 3 of them. The bill was automatically deducted from my partner's checking account and she ended up bouncing checks.

We called them and they said right away that it was a mistake and they should only have charged us for one receiver. We couldn't get them to refund us the money, they wanted to hang on to it and deduct our future bills from it.

After 3 months of phone calls we told them to cancel the service. All in all, it took six months for us to get the money back.

I snail mailed a polite letter to DirectTV's VP of customer service to inform him of what had happened. I never received a response from him. That sealed it for me that we would never be a customer of theirs again.

Too bad because we had been very happy with DirecTV before that.
__________________
Helen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2012, 11:08 PM   #32
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Kerrville,Tx
Posts: 2,707
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
How does anyone handle any bills that can't be received online -- paper only -- and that don't allow online payment?

We receive one bill -- natural gas -- that there is no ability to even see the bill online or to receive it any way other than mail. You can pay it by mail or by dropping it in the dropbox. There is no ability to pay online. Now if I wasn't here I could use bill payment through my checking account to mail a payment. The problem would be if we took any long vacation that we would not see the bill since we couldn't look it up online.

How does anyone handle that kind of situation?

(For other bills I usually get bills electronically or I can look up online and I usually pay online. I usually don't do automatic payments although a few people require them to pay online and for those I do automatic payment).
Of course you could pay the bill by bill pay once you find the amount, billpay i.e. push the bill is better IMHO than the vendor pulling the amount, as you control when the bill is paid. The bill pay at my bank will go to the USPS if an electronic link is not set up. I suspect you could call and get the amount also.
__________________
meierlde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2012, 11:42 PM   #33
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,862
Quote:
Originally Posted by meierlde View Post
Of course you could pay the bill by bill pay once you find the amount, billpay i.e. push the bill is better IMHO than the vendor pulling the amount, as you control when the bill is paid. The bill pay at my bank will go to the USPS if an electronic link is not set up. I suspect you could call and get the amount also.
Fidelity Billpay has "eBill" that receives your bill electronically and can be set to pay it or remind you to pay it. I have a few bills set up like that. One problem with it is that it will only pay the minimum amount on my credit card bills. Needless to say that's pretty useless. But it's great when you can use it. No one else gets your CC or checking info and your bill gets paid automatically. Fido won't hassle you if you cancel that automatic payment.
__________________
Animorph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2012, 07:40 AM   #34
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
How does anyone handle any bills that can't be received online -- paper only -- and that don't allow online payment?
My water bill is like that. I still pay it via bank billpay, I manually set it up and a paper check is cut and sent. I could also setup an autopay for a set amount to cover it.

I put most everything on CC and pay in full each month. CC is a cash back rewards so its like getting a discount on everything.

I haven't actually written a paper check in many years.
__________________
rbmrtn is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2012, 11:30 AM   #35
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 702
I pay my bills on line. I have a couple automatic withdrawal from my checking. There are a few bills that I have setup as recurring payments which are the same each month. Some bills I still get in the mail, however, I now get cable, phone, and electric directly into my on line bill payer service.
__________________
FreeAtLast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2012, 04:04 PM   #36
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
mickeyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Texas~29N/98W
Posts: 5,880
Quote:
I'm wondering how my fellow FIREees handle payment of their monthly (and semi-annual, like property taxes) bills while not at home, especially when traveling on an irregular and unplanned short-notice basis (which precludes mail-forwarding).
Hey omni.

I pay all bills automatically from my checkbook. I pay my annual property tax online, but it's not automatic. We write very few manual checks, maybe 3-4 annually.

I still like to receive paper bills in the mail also and have chosen to receive our Vanguard statements via mail also. As far as I know, no trees are killed or damaged due to this action. If I were to be offered a financial reward for going paperless, I would probably take advantage of the offer.
__________________
Part-Owner of Texas

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

In dire need of: faster horses, younger woman, older whiskey, more money.
mickeyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2012, 09:21 AM   #37
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 14
Has anyone looked at or tried Earth Class Mail?

Seems pricey (starts at $20 a month), but receives and scans all your mail for you to view online.

Might be a good solution for someone constantly travelling and wants/needs to get paper mail.
__________________
markelp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2012, 10:00 AM   #38
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,013
We have something like that in Canada, but it's free. For bills mostly. How would a comprehensive mail scanning service affect your privacy?

www.epost.ca
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2012, 09:50 AM   #39
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 489
Do any of you have bills that you write off on taxes? How are you handling keeping a "receipt" for those if you e-pay them?
__________________
someguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2012, 10:00 AM   #40
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,882
Quote:
Originally Posted by someguy View Post
Do any of you have bills that you write off on taxes? How are you handling keeping a "receipt" for those if you e-pay them?
The bills that come to mind for me are property taxes. I pay them online with my checking account. I keep the original bill, and print out the online transaction record to a pdf file (using Cutepdf) as a record.
__________________

__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:13 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.