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Old 12-06-2017, 08:10 AM   #41
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I would love to go paperless, but resist in some cases. I know you have online access to all the detail of billing statements, but I am more comfortable holding a piece of paper and analyzing it. For one, I don't trust cable companies and have found in the past that they might throw in some movie or extra charge. When I challenged the cable bill and got some satisfaction, I make notes on that paper bill and stick it in my file. Old fashioned? Yes, but then I'm an "old fashioned" kind of guy.

Recently moved into a new community of about 3000 residents. We have our own post office, gangs of mail boxes by street name and house number. Inside there is a table to sort through your mail and there are large bins to discard junk mail. I go in about every other day and these recycle bins are always loaded. Just junk mail. I guess the cost of mailing all this helps support the USPS but sometimes I wonder. What a waste.
I believe the USPS can be likened to the army maintaining divisions of cavalry on horseback. It's long outlived its purpose I would support mail service of 1-2 times per week at centralized points similar to above (where on stop delivers mail for hundreds of residences). In our area, the post office has already separated most package delivery into a dedicated service. Over 90% of our mail never makes it into the house - straight to recycle bin. The waste of resources and the additional pollution is a damn disgrace.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:26 AM   #42
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I believe the USPS can be likened to the army maintaining divisions of cavalry on horseback. It's long outlived its purpose I would support mail service of 1-2 times per week at centralized points similar to above (where on stop delivers mail for hundreds of residences). In our area, the post office has already separated most package delivery into a dedicated service. Over 90% of our mail never makes it into the house - straight to recycle bin. The waste of resources and the additional pollution is a damn disgrace.
And it's not just the junk mail but all of the inserts and other fluff which get included in the bills. Ever notice how fat the envelopes are which include bills or statements? So much of it has nothing to do with the bill but instead is advertising and promotions. All of that goes into the trash, of course. But once in a while there is something informative in that junk such as a warning about a rate increase so when I toss that without reading it before the next bill has a rate increase, I often feel blindsided.

Can't seem to win if I toss the junk or try wading through it first.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:40 AM   #43
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Completely paperless. The last to convert was income tax last year. I would say storing electronic records is more work than filing the paper, but it allows us to travel the world without regard to due dates. And once downloaded, the data is easily manageable.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:03 AM   #44
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I have no problems with keeping electronic copies of bills, statements, etc.

I do have a problem with trusting some organization with keeping that information. There have been far to many breaches were bad guys have literally spent months snooping around a big corporation's computer systems before being detected. I don't want the proof that I actually bought my 5000 shares of Apple on October 19, 1987 at $36.50 to only be on their computers.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:25 AM   #45
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I'm all paperless. Print everything to pdf and scan anything that comes in on paper. Scanned all old documents and had a bonfire with the paper.
I'm quoting you as an example of the people who posted here about being paperless (which we are not). How do you have your finances set up so your spouse or someone else could easily take over bill paying?

I'm thinking maybe I should set up a separate email account for only bill paying so DH wouldn't have to wade through all my emails to find the bills and confirmations of payment (and as a paper person, he would just print them all out anyway )?

PS: companies should offer a $ incentive for paperless, and they would be amazed at how many people would switch.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:30 AM   #46
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I much prefer paperless. Went to it as soon as practical on my accounts.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:30 AM   #47
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Everything that can be paperless, is. Our taxes have been very simple for a number of years, so there is no reason to keep a bunch of crap for 8+ years.

I have been helping my Dad go through some of his stuff (trying to de-clutter 90 years worth of stuff is quite the chore) and the amount of paper/statements he has kept is amazing. He can't recall a time when he has had to EVER go into the "archives" and that included owning a business for several years. He still has 9 shoe boxes of cancelled checks that he refuses to part with...it is somewhat frustrating.

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I was thinking about it until earlier this year when our ISP went down for five days. When we have a utility that is maintained as a utility should be, I'll reconsider.

Since that condition is unlikely to be met within my lifetime the answer is a firm and unequivocal "NO!"
Well, the USPS is also a utility and isn't infallible. Ask the folks in Puerto Rico how long they went without mail. It was certainly longer than 5 days.

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I'm quoting you as an example of the people who posted here about being paperless (which we are not). How do you have your finances set up so your spouse or someone else could easily take over bill paying?
Yes. Most everything is set up on auto pay, and the DW has access to all the information. Any transition required would be fairly seamless.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:31 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
I'm quoting you as an example of the people who posted here about being paperless (which we are not). How do you have your finances set up so your spouse or someone else could easily take over bill paying?

I'm thinking maybe I should set up a separate email account for only bill paying so DH wouldn't have to wade through all my emails to find the bills and confirmations of payment (and as a paper person, he would just print them all out anyway )?

PS: companies should offer a $ incentive for paperless, and they would be amazed at how many people would switch.
I have a piece of paper in my safe with my account login/password information for all websites that someone might need to access on my behalf in case I'm incapacitated or dead.
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:17 AM   #49
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Having multiple homes makes it almost mandatory to go paperless. Almost nothing of importance received by mail. About the only thing is insurance premium requests, insurance companies are way behind banks on this.
Yes we finally got insurance to move to electronic this year after badgering them for five years. First CNS and then O'Rourke. Still get hard copy but by the time it arrives, it has been paid.

One of the byproducts is that our inkjet printers always have dried up cartridges. Need to get some convenient printing service like FaxZero for luddites.
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:35 AM   #50
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The only important paper documents we still receive via mail are: CC statements, property tax bills, and EOBs from health insurance companies. I never download PDFs, scan, or print anything.

We auto-pay everything except the CCs and property tax. The bills are reviewed online or via email. I like to have DW validate the CC statements since she's the big spender, and it's easy to just hand her the paper statement. But I'm very close to moving those to push-pay or auto-pay, which would also go paperless. I keep meaning to move EOBs to paperless but just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Fidelity keeps 10 years of statements online. In addition to investment accounts, we do all banking there with a CMA. It's extremely rare that I need access to something from a few years ago, but I've never had any problem.

Along with our wills and other important papers, I keep a very detailed document of how all the routine finance stuff is handled so DW or someone else could easily carry on in the event of my death or incapacitation.

We do keep paper records of medical receipts as backup for future HSA withdrawals. That file is now pretty thick and growing. I've thought about scanning it, but haven't gotten around to that either.
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:18 PM   #51
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I believe the USPS can be likened to the army maintaining divisions of cavalry on horseback. It's long outlived its purpose...
Surprisingly, as someone who strives to go paperless, I actually like the USPS.

They deliver most of our Amazon packages. Whenever they get something in to the post office, they deliver it. They don't leave it sitting in a warehouse somewhere because the sender only paid for 5-day delivery. They're much cheaper than the big package delivery services. The folks at our local PO are pleasant. Before I buy a product on line, I look for a seller who has an option to ship via USPS.

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And it's not just the junk mail but all of the inserts and other fluff which get included in the bills. Ever notice how fat the envelopes are which include bills or statements?
Some companies charge you extra for sending a paper bill or statement, then fill your mailbox with expensive, glossy pamphlets and brochures anyway.
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Old 12-06-2017, 03:58 PM   #52
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I pay most of my bills online but refuse to go paperless on billing although I also get electronic notifications when credit card bills are due. There have been too many times where I had issues with my laptop and could not access my email for a week or more or my laptop died. My work computer and email was a backup but they blocked many sites for security reasons including access to personal email accounts. Several years ago in a moment of weakness, I opted for paperless billing on my landline phone account only to find I could not set the password and it took weeks and a few phone calls with their helpline to fix it.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:17 PM   #53
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I have been paying most (but not all) of my bills on line but still have been receiving paper bills to "remind" me it's time to pay. HOWEVER, again last month, two of my bills didn't make it to my PO Box in the US Mail. It's a good thing I got electronic email notices too or they would have been paid late. The US Mail has failed me a several times in the past year (not sure what's going on). I know at least 4 pieces of mail I was expecting have been "lost" and in one case significantly delayed in delivery. Of course I don't know what else may have been sent to me and lost.

Maybe it time to go paperless "and" auto bill pay.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:48 PM   #54
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...It's a good thing I got electronic email notices too or they would have been paid late...

Maybe it time to go paperless "and" auto bill pay.
You could put the reminders on an electronic calendar such as Google. I use Quicken, but if I didn't, I'd just setup a recurring reminder on the 2nd of the month for the cable bill, 12th of the month for SDG&E, etc, and then the reminders would pop up on my phone so I could pay on the due date even if I hadn't received the bills.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:23 PM   #55
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We have a couple of encrypted drive images with years of PDF statements and backups of them. We usually have at least one backup in offsite storage. Much easier than filing them. Just don’t have paper statements anymore.
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:52 PM   #56
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You could put the reminders on an electronic calendar such as Google.
Another option would be to set up auto-payments that "pull" from a credit card or checking account for bills that vary month-to-month. As long as you're not risking overdrawing your account (a concern in my younger days) there's really no reason not to. Obviously you should monitor all your accounts for accuracy and to detect fraud. This would be no different.

For me, the one exception is my water bill. They haven't caught up with the 21st century yet. For that I have a reminder in MS Money. If I miss the paper bill, or I'm out of town, I can always call them to get the amount due.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:22 PM   #57
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I pay most of my bills online but refuse to go paperless on billing although I also get electronic notifications when credit card bills are due. There have been too many times where I had issues with my laptop and could not access my email for a week or more or my laptop died. My work computer and email was a backup but they blocked many sites for security reasons including access to personal email accounts. Several years ago in a moment of weakness, I opted for paperless billing on my landline phone account only to find I could not set the password and it took weeks and a few phone calls with their helpline to fix it.
Because of our recent move and with everything in storage for 90+ days, I about went nuts without my desktop computer. My laptop was on the fritz so I had to get better with my cell phone in a hurry. We had left a ton of money in checking account with the purpose of buying some new furnishings, TV, etc. I'd get a bill on email and immediately pay it through online banking. Didn't worry about records. Hoping I didn't make any mistakes. One of the things that drove me nuts were passwords. I hate passwords. I know there is something out there to ease the frustration with passwords.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:31 PM   #58
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I'm quoting you as an example of the people who posted here about being paperless (which we are not). How do you have your finances set up so your spouse or someone else could easily take over bill paying?

I'm thinking maybe I should set up a separate email account for only bill paying so DH wouldn't have to wade through all my emails to find the bills and confirmations of payment (and as a paper person, he would just print them all out anyway )?

PS: companies should offer a $ incentive for paperless, and they would be amazed at how many people would switch.
I have a long printed out document (yes paper) that summarizes all financial matters, estate planning, bills, etc.... It includes how to gain access to email. These instructions would work for my spouse or whoever happens to be the one picking up the pieces. It's in a well marked sealed envelope in an obvious place if someone were looking for paperwork. I update it every 6 months to a year.

The key to me is email access since that's where everything happens.

The reality is that if my spouse somehow doesn't get into my email eventually the companies will send a letter by mail saying we owe money. So the very worst case, not likely, is a late fee. It doesn't seem like a big deal and, again, that seems highly unlikely.

100% paperless on any bill or "mail" that allows paperless.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:51 PM   #59
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Most everything is transmitted paperless. I print out long bank and credit card statements so I can reconcile the statement against Quicken records. I haven't figured out how to check things off on a pdf file like I do with a red pen on paper.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:48 PM   #60
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Most everything is transmitted paperless. I print out long bank and credit card statements so I can reconcile the statement against Quicken records. I haven't figured out how to check things off on a pdf file like I do with a red pen on paper.
I don't check things off - although I used to by highlighting or marking comments on the PDF using Preview.

Now I just go in order tracking both Quicken and the statement and find each corresponding receipt. I've found marking up stuff to be unnecessary.
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