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Old 06-29-2021, 11:02 AM   #61
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I use my credit card as little as possible, thinking that the less I use it, the less likely it is to hacked. I was similarly fearful of providing checking acct number, bank routing number, etc to anyone, with the same reasoning. However, it seems that fraud via electronic payments from banks is way less frequent than with credit cards. Therefore I feel fairly safe making push payments electronically these days. Still minimizing my credit card usage, though.
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Old 06-29-2021, 11:12 AM   #62
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I autopay everything possible. I think at this point we only manually pay annual property taxes bc they charge too mucht o pay online, and the pool guy bc that doesnt exist in his world. Never had fraud or overdraw. Pulled one bill off autopay when there was a weater incident and we were expecting shenanigans at the power company. I still manually pay that bc I still anticipate shenanigans as it shakes out. I have a friend that laborious sits down to review and pay bills I think twice a month and it takes her over a day. SHes above avg intelligence and lives in a normal house and buys normal groceries etc. She is just so untrusting of everything she insists on paper copies of bills (that in my mind are easily lost or misdirected in the mail). THis system works for ehr even thought she complains to me about it 3 days prior and 3 days afterwards. Its her hobby I think. Same person was worried about the Amazon Echo sidewalk setting and she doesnt even own any products with it on there, just the fact that it exists I guess.
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Old 06-29-2021, 02:43 PM   #63
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We use a cash back credit card for Electric, Internet, Cell Phone, and Streaming bills, that I setup to automatically be charged to the card.


So convenient, and 4 less bills to pay. I did have to log into 2 of these vendors last month to change the credit card expiration date. (the others were notified by the credit card.



But that's only once very four years.
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Old 06-29-2021, 02:47 PM   #64
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We have a couple things like the water bill that can't be automated, so DW pays a few hundred dollars ahead so we don't forget. With bonds yielding almost nothing, it doesn't seem worth trying to optimize that.
Our lake home rural coop phone bill can't be automated and it fluctuates a dollar or two from month to month. I have just set up a fixed monthly payment and every year or so I adjust a payment to reflect whatever credit or debit has accumulated. So for all intents it is automated.
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Old 06-29-2021, 10:35 PM   #65
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It depends. Bear in mind that some places require auto pay or give some sort of discount for auto pay. Without considering that this is how I do it:

1. Payments that are fixed and recurring -- Auto Pay these - Mortgage and insurance premiums are the big ones. But I have a few fixed small monthly or periodic subscriptions that I have on autopay. The big thing is that these are things to do not change often. Insurance sometimes changes but I get notice of that.

2. Credit cards -- I have auto pay set up for the minimum payment. I actually always pay the full amount each month (unless it is a zero percent interest thing). I don't want to auto pay the full amount in case there is some sudden fraudulent charge that I don't see.

On the other hand, if I got hit by a bus and was in the hospital I would want the minimum to be covered so I didn't hurt my credit rating. DH would eventually figure it out but this way he has plenty of time.

The autopay on these is almost never actually pulled as I go and pay the full amount before it gets pulled.

3. Utilities -- No autopay. I used to do autopay for some of these but I recently had a large bill that I was able to get adjusted before the due date. If I had auto paid I would have gotten a refund later. Utilities tend to vary more so I don't like just blithely saying to pay it all.

Yes, I know some people say they check the auto pay amount before it goes through. That is OK if you can do it. But, I have had the following happen:

Some providers pull the autopay immediately on the bill being generated. One of my utility providers does this so you can't check it.

Some providers won't let you pull a payment shortly before it is made so that isn't helpful.

If I get hit by the bus I won't see the bill to check it.
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Old 06-29-2021, 10:42 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by CRLLS View Post
....
Has anyone had a mishap occur on auto pay where the billing party accidentally took more than they were supposed to? I had something happen once that makes me hesitate changing over. My employer made a mistake in paycheck auto deposit and then took it back. Didn't make the correct deposit for several work-days. This made some of my scheduled payments overdraw. Old lessons are hard to break.
I avoid this by keeping a spare $1,000 or so in my checking account.
I view the $1,000 as Zero.

Once had a boss who took everyone in the office to explain his bookeeper/bank screwed up and Friday's pay would not show up until Monday.
He was very impressed when I just said "Ok". Unlike many of the other staff who wailed and cried how they would suffer over a 2 day delay.
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Old 06-29-2021, 10:44 PM   #67
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We have a couple things like the water bill that can't be automated, so DW pays a few hundred dollars ahead so we don't forget. With bonds yielding almost nothing, it doesn't seem worth trying to optimize that.
I do the same for my rental water bill, as the fee for missing the payment is $25, far more than interest on a prepayment of $500.
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Old 06-30-2021, 06:29 AM   #68
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I avoid this by keeping a spare $1,000 or so in my checking account.
I view the $1,000 as Zero.

Once had a boss who took everyone in the office to explain his bookeeper/bank screwed up and Friday's pay would not show up until Monday.
He was very impressed when I just said "Ok". Unlike many of the other staff who wailed and cried how they would suffer over a 2 day delay.
Same here, with both items. My first-tier emergency fund is a cushion I keep in my local bank's checking account. It has varied over the years, but it has been in the $1,500-$2,200 range. It would cover any delay in getting money, such as a paycheck (when I was working) or dividend payment (today in ER). The cushion also takes into account the avoidance of minimum balance fees in the checking account. So, the worst thing that would happen is I'd get hit with a small fee, maybe $10 or $15, hardly devastating.

Your story about the delay in pay is like one which happened to me back in 2001 when my pay got delayed for 2 weeks. This was because I had just switched from working full-time (straight salary) to part-time (hourly pay), so I was now going to paid on a lag basis. My boss apologized for not telling me beforehand that this was going to happen. I smiled and said, "Okay, no problem. Thanks for the explanation." She was surprised at my calm, indifferent reaction.

Getting paid on a lag basis for the next 7 years came in handy when I left the company in late 2008 because I received an extra paycheck for the lagged pay. This was in addition to some untaken PTO hours I didn't know I had from 2007. So, I got 3 checks from my company after I left!
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Old 06-30-2021, 07:46 AM   #69
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....Credit cards -- I have auto pay set up for the minimum payment. I actually always pay the full amount each month (unless it is a zero percent interest thing). I don't want to auto pay the full amount in case there is some sudden fraudulent charge that I don't see. ...
I don't worry about this very much. First, the credit card companies are very good in allowing disputes to chearges in my experience. Second, I have a few weeks from when I get my credit card statement until when the payment is pulled to log in and change it to less than the full balance.
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Old 06-30-2021, 10:11 AM   #70
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I don't worry about this very much. First, the credit card companies are very good in allowing disputes to chearges in my experience. Second, I have a few weeks from when I get my credit card statement until when the payment is pulled to log in and change it to less than the full balance.
Same here.

I do change it, for example, if I have claimed a cash reward as credit since that is applied to the next payment.
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Old 06-30-2021, 10:51 AM   #71
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...I do change it, for example, if I have claimed a cash reward as credit since that is applied to the next payment.
All 3 of my CCs automatically adjust the payment amount to reflect any credits posted to the account between the statement date and the payment date, including cash-back rewards. This confused me at first because the payment they pulled was always a little less than the balance on the statement.
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Old 06-30-2021, 10:59 AM   #72
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+1 I usually get an email a couple days before the autopay telling me the amount that they paln to pull.
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Old 06-30-2021, 02:02 PM   #73
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All 3 of my CCs automatically adjust the payment amount to reflect any credits posted to the account between the statement date and the payment date, including cash-back rewards. This confused me at first because the payment they pulled was always a little less than the balance on the statement.
It’s because I use ebills and billpay rather than allowing the CC company to pull the payment. The ebill has already been sent to the bank, and later I redeem a cash reward, I have to make the adjustment. Or I could be lazy and it would work itself out on the next bill.
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Old 06-30-2021, 02:11 PM   #74
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All 3 of my CCs automatically adjust the payment amount to reflect any credits posted to the account between the statement date and the payment date, including cash-back rewards. This confused me at first because the payment they pulled was always a little less than the balance on the statement.
I only have one card and it works the same way. I download all the card transactions into Quicken, so I see any credits as they are posted.

I typically have about 18-20 days between the statement coming in the mail and the payment being pulled ACH. By that time the statement comes, I have seen and verified most of the transactions anyway.
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Old 06-30-2021, 02:24 PM   #75
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^ This is why I only use a CC for autopaying bills, not debiting my checking account. Had a similar issue years ago that took months to resolve and don't want to chance it happening again.
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Recently changed health insurance that was set to a Pull autopay from my checking account. They still pulled the payment even though I had canceled the policy. It took 5 weeks for them to send me a check. It also cost me $15 bank fee to ensure they could no longer pull from my credit union checking account. (Stop payment fee.)
Never any other issues.
I'm very reluctant to give anyone ACH access because of this. I had a $70/$700 thing and ended-up closing the account and opening a new one, and order new paper checks. If given a good incentive, I'll give them ACH. My insurance company offered $10 a year or something for ACH and I didn't bite on that, but the student loans offered a lowered interest rate, and that was good enough to bite.

Quote:
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We have a couple things like the water bill that can't be automated, so DW pays a few hundred dollars ahead so we don't forget. With bonds yielding almost nothing, it doesn't seem worth trying to optimize that.
Last multi-month vacation, I just overpaid the bills to last through two billing cycles. Another benefit is that you can more quickly reach the spend amount required for the credit card signup bonus.
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Old 06-30-2021, 03:04 PM   #76
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Last multi-month vacation, I just overpaid the bills to last through two billing cycles. Another benefit is that you can more quickly reach the spend amount required for the credit card signup bonus.
When going to Europe for a month or so where I use a different set of credit cards, I usually go ahead and pay the balances of the cards used at home, and pay a few bills early. That way I don’t have to worry about any surprises while overseas such as ATM issues messing up my billpay.

The water bill defaults to the highest amount paid in a given year.
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Old 07-02-2021, 03:36 PM   #77
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I love the convenience of automatic payment, leaving no chance of missing a payment. For me that's important, and so far I haven't found any mishegas with my bill (like extra secret changes). But automatic RENEWALS? Uh uh... I HATE EM... services will snooker you into signing up only if you agree to be billed automatically at renewal, and you seldom get a reminder of renewal until it suddenly appears on your bill, usually with little description.... in other words the companies try their best to renew/bill unnoticed. The online subscription services are the worst... I often have to keep a note on my calendar to check for an upcoming renewal.
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It is so convenient
Old 07-02-2021, 03:42 PM   #78
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It is so convenient

I have everything on autopay and have for many years. I also use You Need a Budget (YNAB) and track my budget/expenses thru there. If you haven’t tried it you should at least look at it. It made a world of difference knowing and planning where all of our money would be going.
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Old 07-02-2021, 03:43 PM   #79
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What are people’s thoughts on automatic payment of bills - like utilities, cell phone, cable, etc?

I like the convenience but maybe I’m missing a key downside? I do watch the bills each month before they’re paid to avoid surprises.

What do you do?
Do not even think about this!
I tried it and know of others to who have had double Billings and “lost” payments etc. The companies are sloppy and careless too often. In my case they immediately resorted to collection when they did not get a duplicate payment. It is just too dangerous.
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Old 07-02-2021, 03:54 PM   #80
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What are people’s thoughts on automatic payment of bills - like utilities, cell phone, cable, etc?

I like the convenience but maybe I’m missing a key downside? I do watch the bills each month before they’re paid to avoid surprises.

What do you do?
I don't see a downside. I've been doing it this way as long a autopay bill paying was a thing. Never had a problem with it. No checks to write, no envelopes, no stamps, no dropping mail in the mailbox. Some people are resistant to a new and easier way of doing things. Why?

Paying my bills is a breeze. Takes minutes each month. At the start of each month I add up all my bills, then make sure my checking account will have enough in there to cover them. If not, I do and online transfer from idle cash (high yield savings account). I choose to use the various payees Autopay "pulled" from my account rather than my bank's billpay service. Anything able to be paid with a credit card is paid that way. I have a checkbook in my drawer. It rarely ever gets used. I bought a book of stamps about 5 years ago. It still is not used up.
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