Auto-Pay Or Not?

Auto-Pay

Auto-pay is when you set up your bills so they are automatically paid at a predetermined time each month. Got a mortgage? Auto-pay it on the 5th of each month. Car payment? That one is due on the 21st of the month. Utilities? Visa? MasterCard? You can make a list of all your bills and today, you can pretty much set it up to pay them on their due date to avoid late payments.

Is It Saving You Money?

I’ve never liked the idea of setting things up on auto-pay. First, it removes any control over when I want bills paid. I guess some of it is paranoia as well. What happens if somehow, your Visa card is hacked and there are charges on there that are not yours? With auto-pay, it pays the bill when you set it up to pay. It does not care if there are charges on there that do not belong to you. What if you have a question about the charges on your cable bill?

Does Manually Paying Your Bills Save You Money?

For me, I like to have a look at each bill that comes in. For the longest time, I received paper copies of everything. It got to a point where I was not even reading the paper copy. Instead I was looking at the bills online anyway so I stopped getting the paper copies.

Looking at every bill that comes in forces me to acknowledge the amount of money going out. It keeps my hand on my finances instead of ignoring some of the things happening with my finances.

It’s sort of like paying cash for things instead of using a credit or debit card. Every time a $20 bill leaves my hand, I feel it. A debit and credit card feels different – like play money or something.

What works for you?

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