Paying Monthly Bills

Currently I am able to pay monthly bills by logging into my bank account, and enter the amounts into predefined bill pay fields for my basic utilities etc.

I spoke to a friend, and he does it differently: at each of his basic utility companies, he has it set to automatically charge his credit card every month.

I’m just curious how folks here manage paying their monthly bills.

We run everything through credit card except two that charge fees for credit, so require ACH. All are set to autopay. The payments eventually are imported into and seen in our budget software. Saves quite a bit of time!

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Everything auto paid to CC except the ones that won’t let me do that. Those auto paid from checking.

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Same as @Leeabe51 except for paying credit cards, we do those manually.

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All recurring bills are either autopaid to a credit card (preferred because I get 1% cash back) or ACH to the bank. The credit card bills are autopaid in full each month by ACH. Almost all incoming money is autodeposited into the bank. I only write about 10 checks per year which I do the old fashioned way.

Everything is so completely automated that except for those handwritten checks I could go for years without human intervention on bills and income.

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I schedule recurring automatic payments from my bank for items like rent that are the same amount each month. Health, life insurance, and services that offer a discount are paid via automatic debit from a checking account at a second bank (where I maintain a low balance). All other bills are received via email and are usually paid immediately using my bank’s iPhone app.

Grocery, fuel, restaurant charges, etc. are paid with CC. I think I’ve withdrawn cash from an ATM three times since March 2020.

Same here. Rent, internet, insurance, gas, water, electricity,… Everything is directly debited to my bank account.

Auto-pay everything possible, but I make sure I check the bills in case of errors or when something seems amiss. Over the years I can’t imagine how much time I have saved by using auto pay/direct debit.

UK there’s a system called Direct Debit, designed to pay regular bills of variable amounts.
Use that for all utilities and some other bills, but not credit cards.

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Same here, everything is charged to my bank account directly via direct payment, no credit card involved. I believe this is the usual way of doing this stuff in Europe, I do not remember any utility offering to pay via credit card.

Yes, good old direct debit in the UK. There are very few bills that we pay manually (e.g. car insurance) and that is usually by choice so that we can shop around for a better deal.

Direct debit here in NZ too. Most of our regular payments that accept credit cards charge a small fee on top of the price so that disincentivises using a card to get any points.

Direct debit is painless and simple.

Cheques don’t exist at all anymore.

Automatic payment from bank account, but tracking past/future payments using Chronicle during the “Review previous” & “Review upcoming” stages of my GTD Weekly Review.

Most of our bills here in Sweden are sent directly to my bank by the invoice issuer. At the middle of each month, I log on to the bank’s website (or use the app) to review all new bills. They are basically always correct, so I simply select all, and approve them for payment on the due date. Super simple.

Not all vendors are connected to this system, so a few invoices I either enter manually or scan with the bank app (requires OCR codes on the invoice).

Of course, recurring subscriptions etc will be charged to the credit cards - for which the credit card companies also send invoices to my bank directly.

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That’s for electricity, gas, water, insurances, etc.

For online stuff it’s mainly (automatically) recurring payments via PayPal (or creditcard directly if PayPal is not offered) and/or a few subscriptions via Apple’s App Store.

In Canada, most automatic payments on a credit card are subject to service charge. So any gains in credit card points are quickly wiped out, so I don’t bother.

Also, I never liked the idea of automatic withdrawal because some of our cable/cell companies (of which there are only 2, arguably 3) are super sketchy. Incorrect bills and erroneous charges are not unheard of, so I don’t allow these companies to just take what they want. I pay what I decide when I decide it - no way I’m letting them charge me at will.

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I do everything manually through my Credit Union, via thier website. Somethings are set to autopay each month (mortgage, life insurance…) stuff that doesn’t change amounts. But it is all generated from me.

I used to give out my Credit Card for auto payments but ran into issues with unauthorized charges from companies. in One instance, I had a dispute with my Cable provider about a bill. The rep on the phone actually said to me “we think you owe this much, we have your card on file and will bill that card. So what are you going to do about it?” and promptly hung up the phone. I was stunned.

I simply called my credit card company (after they indeed did charge me) and disputed the charge. Never heard back from the Cable company. But I vowed to never do that again.

I had the same issue with AT&T running my card with additional charges. Whenever I called, they would always say the same thing, “opps, that was an accounting error, we will take that off your bill” It was always under $2 or so. I’m convinced it was a way to collect extra revenue, hoping (and I am sure correctly) that most wouldn’t even notice it.

So I make sure I double check my bills and manually enter each payment. It only takes an hour every 2 weeks, and time well spent.

It is always very interesting to see, even in our highly connected world, how different those systems working around the world.

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There are a couple of cards that pay 2% on everything with no catch or minimum that are good for these kinds of purchases. May be worth investigating if you haven’t yet.

I just went to dept. water and power - and there I could add a bank or credit card. I did not see anything about charging any fees here.

Q: How can I tell if they will charge fees? Will they have to disclose this if they do?