Save Money by Paying Bills Online

I have used online bill pay since we were stationed in Cuba 13 years ago. Back then it was purely for convenience reasons as the mail was incredibly slow at times and I didn’t want to make a late payment. After we returned to the states I continued pay bills online and over time I realized this habit has saved our family a significant amount of money.

Paying bills online is an easy way to save money and it really adds up over time.

I broke it down to see how much money I have saved over the past 13 years.

I am only figuring basic bills because we have not paid a credit card bill in several years. Obviously if you have more bills you will save more money.

Bills I pay every month:

  • Cell phone
  • Electric
  • Water
  • Home phone
  • Internet
  • Auto Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Orthodontist
  • Tuition

Bills I pay every year:

  • Insurance
  • Auto Registration
  • HSLDA Membership

 

Cost of Stamps (since postage has gone up over the years I calculated the amount using $0.44 per stamp.)

 

$566.28 over the past 13 years.

This amount might not seem significant, but to me every penny I save is a penny I don’t need to earn. For many people this number will be significantly higher since I did not include car payments, student loan payments, or multiple credit card payments in my calculation. I was looking at my checkbook the other day and realized I have been using the same box of checks for seven years!

Even though a check only costs about 6 cents, that is an additional savings of about $100 over 13 years!

The other benefit of paying bills online is that you can schedule the bills at the beginning of the month and avoid late fees! I have not paid a late fee since I started paying bills online. You don’t need to worry about slow mail or driving down to the office to pay your bill, usually online transactions are processed within a day.

If your bank charges for online bill pay find a new bank. Banks need your business and there are many large reputable banks that offer free online bill pay.

Personally, I bank with USAA and have been very pleased with their online bill pay service. You can set up automatic payments for a specific amount and if the bill is larger than your specified amount you receive an email, the payment does not get processed until you approve the larger amount.

You can also cut your paper waste by having your bills delivered electronically. I save my bills on my hard drive just as I would a paper bill. Almost all large companies offer ebills and it is a great way to keep bills from getting lost in a pile on your desk.

Do you use online bill pay? Have you been happy with your bank’s service. If so leave a comment and tell us about your bank. If you have had a bad experience with online bill pay we want to hear about it too!

 

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Comments

  1. I definitely prefer to do as much bill paying online as possible. So much easier to keep track of, and cuts down on the paper clutter to boot.

  2. I usually go to the corner party store, which charges a little bit. I should really try on -line, thanks for the tip.

  3. I love BillPay through Wells Fargo. No problems ever. So easy. So convenient. And free with our checking account. I pay everything that I can online. Even when I have to send a check to somebody, say for something that I buy or to pay them back for something, I use BillPay. Anything that I can do online makes my day :).

  4. I pay almost every bill online. I love it. We bank with Zions Bank and the bill pay is free. Makes it so easy. A few days before we get our first paycheck of the month I just sit down and input all the bills that will be paid with that check and set them to come out that day. And we also get most of our bills electronically too. We only go through about one checkbook a year now.

  5. I love online bill pay. I did have one problem, one that I could not resolve, when I tried to pay multiple USAA bills for various types of insurance (with different USAA member numbers) from one bank account. I have had to revert to checks for the life insurance payments. I went through 6+ months of problems and determined that my credit union didn’t send enough account info to USAA to enable USAA to properly differentiate between accounts.

  6. I’m on online bill pay fan, too, through Chase. I love the instantness (I know, not a word . . .) of it as well. So many companies register the payment within 24 hours of my sending it on the computer. I appreciate knowing things are handled quickly and not “in limbo” somewhere between my mailbox and their bookkeeper.

    ~Erin

  7. I love online bill pay. Funny, my checks are from 2003 or 2004. I hardly ever write checks anymore. And I never realized how much money we were saving because of it. Thank you for the breakdown, now I can show my hubby! He’s always been opposed to online anything.

  8. Wow, thanks for the break down. I have been thinking about doing this but after reading this I am wondering why I haven’t started yet!

  9. I knew it saved money, but I had now idea how much. That is a good chunk of change that could be saved!

  10. We use USAA too and I use the bill pay option. I love that it doesn’t take days for the payment to leave the account. I receive the majority of our bills online so when it comes in I schedule the payment and it is done. I never thought of the savings but every little bit saved is great!

  11. Wow! I had NO idea it could save that much! Thank you for that very helpful information! I need to do some homework in this area!

  12. This is funny — we bought 2 boxes of checks in mid 2006 and I thought “my how frugal are we?” that we’re only halfway through box #2. Mostly we use the checks to pay for doctor bills. For some reason I’m afraid to send them an electronic payment. Otherwise we LOVE our free bill pay through our local credit union.

  13. Thanks for the info. I’ve never thought of how much money we’re saving, I just do it because it’s faster and easier. We use bill pay through Bank of America for everything and get e-bills for all that are available. I really like it because it’s easier for me to see what I’ve paid and when (it keeps a log of all the past payments). They also reimburse you for any late fees if your payment is not received on time (although I’ve never had a problem).

  14. We have been using Commerace, now TD Bank for at least as long as we have been married. I think my husband used it before that as well. For all the same reasons as you. I have also started using online banking to manage my Women Of Faith account.

  15. My husband pays all of our bills and uses online payments whenever possible, even for things like music lessons. We bank at our local credit union in NC and have only had one snaffu and I’m not sure if that was our bank’s fault or our utility company’s fault. I do remember it was easily rectified.
    Wendy

  16. We love online bill pay! We’ve been doing it for years now and wouldn’t do it any other way. We bank with a local credit union which does bill pay for free and allows you to have as many savings accounts as we want. So I have each bill in it’s own account and I divvy up checks each week so when the bill comes due, I have all the money already there. Cashier’s checks are free with our status too, so if we need a check, I run to the bank on my lunch break.

  17. I went into paying bills on line kicking and screaming! Hubby insisted we set it up about 5 years ago and I have LOVED it ever since!! Silly! I will have to tell him about your savings. I’m sure we’re right up there with you. I keep thinking with the cost of stamps and everything that one day it’s no longer going to be free with my bank, but until that day…

  18. I’m behind the times apparently!

    I’m a little stange and just love writing out checks and manually balancing my checkbook. I’ve paid my bills online a few times, but it seems like I tend to spend more money that month. I think, for me, writing the check out, entering it in my register, and doing the math myself helps me to NOT spend as much. It makes the fact that that money is gone more real to me, I guess.

    That being said, the few times I have used it, it was really simple to do. I have all my bills set up online so if I am out of town and realize I didn’t pay something I can easily take care of it.

  19. Christie says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE paying my bills online. So much easier than writing and stuffing envelopes while nursing, which has become my standard measurement of ease over the past 3.25 years, lol. And so much easier when we travel. I couldn’t believe the hassle it was for my MIL to come help out for 2 weeks while my LO was in the NICU, mostly because of needing to be there when a bill came in the mail so she could write and check and send it back.

  20. That’s great savings! Thanks for the tips!
    BTW – your kids would love my slushies with ice cream
    ~Liz

  21. I agree with you. Online bill paying does save money. It is easy.
    We use Paytrust.com as this helps me to keep organized. I get flustered with paper…weird but true. We have been using Paytrust for several years now. It works great.

    Love your blog. I have passed on The Heartfelt Award to you. To pick it up – if you so desire – visit:
    http://ibeeeg.blogspot.com/2009/05/heartfelt-award.html

  22. I love banking online with USAA! I’ve been banking online for years and absolutely love it. USAA will also send checks to individuals. Like for graduations and birthdays. And USAA backs up their online paperwork for 7 years (I used to work there!)

  23. I too have had no problems with USAA bill pay. I do not do e-bills though…but after reading your tip for setting it also to automatic and that you have to approve a higher amount makes me more comfortable about it. I never new that. Thanks for the tip. Also I just learned that my internet/phone company is offering FREE online back up service so that could help with saving the info and I can ditch the paper bills! (I have done online banking with B of A and USAA for over 7 years with no problemo 🙂

  24. We are paperless and we love it! We don’t pay through our bank, though, we go to each company’s website to pay. I like this better than paying through the bank becaus with our bank there is a delay, and if you open online accounts with the companies they usually keep records of your bills and payments; very cool for when tax season comes about!

  25. I love online bill pay…just wish I could get my husband on board. Maybe one of these days.

  26. I too bank with USAA and pay everything online…so easy to do and if I do have a problem customer service is outstanding.

  27. I think almost $300 IS very significant! I just started something with my online bill pay that I love: I set up recurring payments for my tithes. I already organized all my tithes by the month (with some money available for spur-of-the-moment giving). Now for the next 5 years, my bank will send checks to all my favorite charities during their month. This is also part of my efforts to reduce the amt of mail we receive and recycle. I’ve called all my charities and asked to be put on “no mail”. If they don’t comply, like the Amer Heart Assn, unfortunately, I take them off MY list. It’s so nice to have fewer documents to juggle each month. Thanks for reminding us all!

  28. I love being able to pay bills online! 😀 It is so much easier and no licking envelopes or stamps. 😀

  29. I don’t use online bill pay except for the phone bills. My bank doesn’t charge a fee, but the utility companies all do! And it’s usually $3-5 per payment! It’s a little crazy to say the least. Obviously it’s cheaper to pay the $.40-.50 for mailing it. Even if I stop by to pay the bill while I’m already running errands in the area, they charge $1 to take the payment in person! Can you say RIP-OFF!!!

  30. Julie A. says:

    I love Bill Pay. The only problem is when I am late, meaning I don’t get on the computer on time. Some bills aren’t paid right away, it might take 4 days so I end up with a dumb late payment cause of my procrastination!! FRUSTRATING! I would LOVE to know what you did to get away from credit cards. Is that something you have posted on this site? I LOVE your site by the way!!

  31. Chastity at Wellsfargo says:

    Hi Kristy-I’m Chastity with the Wells Fargo Online Customer Outreach Team. It’s great to see you’re happy with our Bill Pay Service and your checking account. Bill Pay is definitely a convenience especially when thinking about the time it saves from getting stamps and dropping them in the mail. We are always trying to think of ways to make our customers days!! If you ever would like to give us your feedback for new online enhancements, feel free to email me at chastitywfb@wellsfargo.com

  32. I started using BillPay with USAA before it was “online” in March 1999. We had to use the modem to dial into USAA’s BillPay service. They have made many wonderful improvements over the years.

    As a former employee of First Interstate/Wells Fargo, I saw CheckFree payments come in daily. But I didn’t begin using this type of system until a near disaster happened. We had just moved into a rental home after relocating and I sent out some 14 checks, mostly for monthly bills. Two weeks later, 13 of those checks had not shown up yet. To my knowledge, they have never been found. The USPS, as usual, offered no recourse other than a standard-reply postcard apology. I knew that this would NEVER be the case with CheckFree or BillPay. At the time, I don’t think the service was free, but it was 100% worth it.

    For many years, I even paid my tithe online…now my dh prefers to actually put something into the offering plate.

    I can’t think of any regular bill for which I don’t use BillPay. I have even used it to send money to my in-laws (chipping in to buy gifts, etc.). And since I manage my dad’s finances while he is out of the country…which is a lot…I pay his few bills via his BillPay at his banks.

    I buy USPS stamps very infrequently and I even use Fedex for most of my shipping (another advantage of USAA & being a business owner).

  33. I don’t use online bill paying, I walk down to the post office and pay. I get some exercise in and soak up some sunshine while doing it. It helps kill some of my lunch break as well which means I have a whole lunch break and not eat my sandwhich and go back to work within 5 minutes

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