Last week, I saw this article in Kiplinger’s where Amanda Lilly and Stacy Rapacon debated the merits of automatic bill-pay. They both make great points, as well as recommendations for products that can help monitor your bill payments, but I think that automatic bill paying wins out. We auto-pay the bills that let us for a variety of reasons, which we’ll discuss below, and we have systems in place to help us manage the process and ensure that we don’t get dinged insufficient funds or other fees.
First, let’s talk about the systems. We auto-pay all of our bills from our Ally account, which is a combination savings and checking account with overdraft protection. Our savings account contains enough cash to coverage a couple months’ worth of expenses and is our free overdraft protection on the checking account, which pays all of our bills. Every month, we get email notifications of our bills and since we only pay two credit cards and a utility bill, I have a good sense of what those values should be. (I also check the credit card bills every month for strange charges)
So far, we haven’t had any problems. Now – onto why we do this instead of pay them manually (especially since it’s just three bills):
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