- The problem: Too much manual labor on finances, too much paper.
- The resolution: Review 2011 for the timesappers and eliminate them.
- The long term solution: Set up autopays, paperless billing and notifications.
Already on autopay: 3
Not on autopay: 7
Already paperless: 1
Not paperless: 9 – yikes!
With text or e-mail notifications: 6
Without text or e-mail notifications: 4
Not on autopay: 3
Not paperless: 3
With text or e-mail notifications: 8
Without text or e-mail notifications: 2
Step by step:
- Make a list of all regularly occurring expenses or deposits, noting whether they are paperless, autopay, online, and provide notifications or alerts.
- Determine what is needed for tax records (mortgage, credit cards, banking statements) and set up an alert to download and store to secure location.
- Access or enroll in all online programs, change passwords, record information needed to access in secure location.
- Identify which accounts are EPP (equal payment plan) or can be EPP and enroll.
- For each account: enable paperless, enable notifications and alerts, enable autopay
- For each *changed* account: pay existing balance, check accounts for the next 60 day to ensure they are being paid.
- Review the prior year for occasional payments such as insurance.
- Add autopay dates to calendar or financial program with alerts.
- As appropriate, review costs and contracts, make adjustments or changes as needed, set alerts for contract expirations.
- Schedule regular transfer from checking to savings.
A few issues did come up – one of the utilities only allows you to enroll in EPP in June, so I set an alert in Outlook for May so I’d be ready to go for that. Still battling my way through enrolling in anything online for my internet/TV – even calling technical support doesn’t seem to be getting me anywhere. Not enrolling one of the credit cards for autopay was by choice, though I may change that down the line. All in all I eliminated quite a few paper bills and one online bill paying day per month and one “drive around and pay the Luddites” day per month, which should save a good deal of time (and paper) over the course of the year.