How Do You Pay Your Bills?

Brent Pittman —  03/05/2012

Do you still write checks?

The bills flow in your inbox and mailbox weekly. How do you pay them? What is your system and does it work? Does your demographic play a part in how you pay bills?

When it comes to paying bills a systematic approach is the best way to avoid late fees and stress.

Make it Automatic

The easiest way to pay your monthly bills is to have them automatically debited from your checking account. That way there is no danger in not paying them, plus you have extra time for your favorite hobby.

Just make sure there is money in the account to cover the withdrawals!

Our family has all but a handfull of bills that I have set up on automatic payment. Personally, I find it best to set up bills to hit on the 1st and 15th of each month– that way I can keep track and ensure there will be no bounced virtual checks.

Online Bill Pay

There are a few bills that I have set up for free bill pay through our online bank. The address and account numbers are saved by the bank and I just enter the amount and swoosh the check is in the mail. Easy. I usually pay these on the 15th.

Make sure you have the right address or it will never get delivered. I speak from experience on this one.

I Still Like Writing Checks

Oddly enough, I still like writing paper checks. I have 2 bills that I still pay with paper checks for odd reasons. The rest are on auto-pilot.

I know people who use personal finance software to pay their bills and others who pay them in person.

What is your system for paying bills? Any useful tips?

Photo Credit Butte-Silver Bow Public Library (Creative Commons)

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Brent Pittman

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.
  • Longhorns

    The best way is to have as much as possible automatically charged to credit cards each month. Utilities, insurances,….all you can. That way gets you miles and points and meets the spending requirements for big bonus miles and points. Or, use a cash back credit card–your preference. Any that can’t be charged can be paid by free bank pay. No checks, no postage.

    • Why not use a debit card that gives 2% back like Perkstreet? That would keep you from spending beyond your budget.

  • Personally I use a mix of automatic payments and online banking payments.  For the ones that aren’t automatically withdrawn, I just pay them as soon as I get them.  It’s an easy enough system which never results in any late fees.  I can’t say I like writing checks though.  The only thing I use checks for is rent.