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Money Saving Tip

Set Up Automatic Bill Payments

Paying a bill late can be costly: Late fees, interest, even cancellation of the account can result from paying a bill after its due date. The effect can snowball if you combine a tight budget with disorganized bill paying system.

Once a bill payment has been skipped, it becomes psychologically harder to pay. It's already late, right? Looking at or even thinking about the late bill brings a mean little zing to the stomach. It's easier to ignore it, and once ignored, the money that should be going toward the bill may end up being spent on some non-essential item in an effort to help you feel better. It's a wicked cycle.

Of course late payment of bills also reduces your credit score. Virtually all of your credit card companies, mortgage companies, and banks are reporting your payment history to the major credit reporting companies. They will report your monthly payment amount, whether it was paid, and the remaining balance owing on your account. Each reported late payment is flagged by the credit reporting company and will ultimately be used to caculate your credit score. Low credit scores means higher interest on your loans and credit cards.

Setting up your bills to be automatically paid from your checking account is a good step toward simplifying your finances.

Automatic payment can work in two ways: First, you can simply sign up to have the billing company make a direct debit to your bank account for the amount of your bills as they come due. This works well with bills that are the same amount each month, or with bills such as utility bills. The bills or statements of the amounts owing should still come in the mail or by email notification so that you can review each one before they are deducted from your account.

The other way to use automatic payment of your bills is to indivudually schedule the bill payment through your online banking account. When you receive a bill in the mail, you log onto your online bill paying account and then schedule the date and amount of payment of the bill. The first time you pay a company, you will have to set up their name, address, and account number. I have found that this is very easy, especially since my bank has many vendor addresses already on file and I need only to verify that the address is correct.

For credit card bills that you are paying off, set up a regular automatic monthly payment that is equal to or greater than the minimum monthly payment. You can always edit the payment to make it higher and you can also make additional payments. Having the minimum payment automatically made before the due date has the potential to prevent large late payment fees plus and possible increases in the interest rate on your credit card purchases.

Some banks will charge a small monthly fee for online bill payment. Some will offer it for free for a set amount of payments and then charge for the number of monthly payments over that set amount. Usually the charge is small. My bank charges $.50 per additional payment. I get 10 free payments a month. Since postage is $.49 a stamp, the fee is very reasonable.

Don't feel that you have to sign up all your bills for automatic payment at once. Just start with the bills you have on hand and continue setting up the bills as they are received.

Automatic bill payment is something that can save you time, money, paperwork, and stress. Try it! It's a great way to save a few fat dollars. And that's The Fat Dollar way!







Your Money or Your Life  by Joe Dominguez and Vickie Robin-

Are you working to make a living or working to make a life? Change the way you treat money and think about money.   Revolutionary, inspiring and empowering nine-step program for transforming your relationship with money and achieving financial independence. This book has changed many lives and Amazon readers give it a 4+ star rating (out of 5)!

Tightwad GazetteTHE COMPLETE TIGHTWAD GAZETTE by Amy Dacyczyn  

....This is one of my favorite books.

Although a little quirky sometimes, and sometimes a little extreme, this book has many great ideas for spending less on low priority stuff so you'll have more money to spend on high priority stuff (like college, or a house!) The author, Amy Dacyczyn lived her dream of having a large farm house and many happy kids all while working from home and learning how to be creative and frugal. Amy's background in graphic design makes her approach to saving money simply delightful. The best part for me was the wonderful tone of family love that weaves throughout the book.  Very creative and fun book and VERY THICK! You will definitely get your money's worth in simple living tips and money saving tips with this book.




THE COMPLETE IDIOTS GUIDE TO BEING A CHEAPSKATE     by Mark W Miller.  Help with saving money on travel, gifts, home items and more in the traditional "complete idiot's guide" format.  


Books are offered in association with Amazon


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