I put off using the free bill pay service that was offered by my bank for months until I got an offer for a “bonus” if I would make three transactions using my bank’s “bill pay” feature. I can’t pass up “free” money, so I decided to check it out. That was almost a year ago, and now I’m hooked!
How it works
If you aren’t familiar with Bill Pay, the first thing you do is “add a payee.” Most banks have a list of pre-loaded payees so you can search for a payee. If your payee is not part of the pre-loaded list, you can add them manually. When you add a payee, you have the option of adding an individual or a business. After you add the payee, there will usually be a calendar of some sort that tells you what the payment delivery time is. You can schedule your payments to be sent and arrive by a specific date. I always select a day that is a few days before the actual payment due date to allow a cushion. Finally, you enter the payment amount and then you will be given a confirmation number. I add this into the Quicken program that we use to track our finances.
Prior to using bill pay, when I would create our budget for the month, I would make a list of payments that needed to be made each week based on payment due dates and our pay day dates. Now, when I receive a bill either in my mail or by e-mail, I go in and automatically schedule the payment using my bank’s bill pay feature. It saves a lot of time, I don’t have to pay for a stamp or worry about my checks getting lost in the mail, and I don’t worry about incurring fees for late payments because the payment is scheduled well in advance (as soon as I receive the bill). If you have payments that are recurring every month, you can also schedule those!
Have you used bill pay yet? What did you think? Many banks offer bill pay for free to their customers. If your bank offers this feature and you haven’t checked it out yet, try it and let me know what you think!
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