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5 Reasons You Should Go Paperless

Despite what you feel about recycling or renewable fuels, there’s one thing that every person should be able to agree on – the fewer resources you consume, the better. It’s better on the world, it’s better on your wallet, and it’s better for your children. You might not believe recycling helps, but no one can dispute the fact that not using something is the best way to help sustain our world.

With that in mind, here’s something that not only helps Earth but also helps you – paperless statements. Many companies are offering paperless statements because it saves them money. With the exception of one credit card bill, we use paperless statements for all our finances from banks to credit cards to mortgages to insurance (the lone credit card is the business AMEX, which we need to annotate for accounting purposes).

Here are five reasons why you should join us:

  1. It’s green. By going paperless, the company doesn’t have to print out your statement and mail it to you. They’ll save some money but you’ll cut down on the amount of paper being used, the fuel being consumed in shipment, and the time being expended on something that you could just as easily get by email. While many companies are using recycled paper, which reduces the consumption of virgin paper, you’re still using fuel and time, which are both valuable commodities.
  2. Easier to store records. You can download many of your statements online in PDF form. Downloading PDF statements and saving them in a folder on your computer is significantly easier to store than a stack of statements. In fact, if you have access to your statements online, you probably don’t even need to save them on your computer (I do, for important accounts, just for backup purposes).
  3. You save time. Think of the time it takes for you to walk to your mailbox to get the statement and the time it takes to open the statement, not counting papercuts! It may be only a few minutes each month but it’s a lot longer than the time it takes for you to open an email and time is valuable!
  4. It’s easier to manage email statements. If you are a fan of systems like GTD [3], an email notifying you that your statement is ready works wonderfully well with GTD. You can mark it as a Bill and then file it away into the proper folder. If all of your folders are online, this integrates very nicely.
  5. The company might bribe you. Many companies now offer a cash incentive to go paperless, such as a $5 statement credit or some other incentive. If they do, take advantage! If they don’t, go paperless anyway because there are plenty of non-financial benefits.

While you’re at it, you can stop unsolicited credit card offers [4] too. Billions of pieces of junk mail are sent out each year, many of which end up in the trash. You don’t want the offers and neither does the landfill, so take a quick minute to protect your identity and Earth by opting out.

Have you gone paperless? Please share your experiences below!

(Photo: kozumel [5])