Week 1 - Automate Your Bill Payments
Your monthly bills are the inevitable reality of life. But because they are so regular, they also lend themselves to being automated.
There are 2 kinds of payments that recur every month:
#Fixed monthly amounts:
Your apartment rent, wages to domestic staff or the DTH services, etc. These are fixed, non-negotiable amounts, and are high priority in nature.
#Variable monthly amounts:
Your phone and WiFi bill, electricity bill, credit card bills, etc. The bill amount varies every month, based on your usage.
However, instead of queueing up in offices month after month, it would make life easier for you to just automate these mundane tasks. Here’s how:
You can make online payments in 3 ways:
#1. Make NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer) from your bank account to the respective recipient’s account. An NEFT transaction has no lower limit, though it has an upper limit of Rs. 10 lakhs per day.
#2. Bill pay - View Pay: Most of the banks (private and public sector) allow you to make payments to the respective authorities. You have to log in to the bank website, select the kind of bill payment you wish to make (electricity, gas, DTH, phone or credit card) and go ahead make the payment using net banking services or your debit/credit card. Once you have set up this link, then you are asked to approve the payment by logging in, every month.
#3. Bill pay - Automatic: This is the most convenient means of paying a bill. All you have to do is link your bank account to the account of the service you are paying for. For instance, to pay an electricity bill, you have to select the electricity service provider in your city from the menu. Then enter your account ID (with which you are registered with the electricity department), this means you are giving the bank access to the billing details, that is amount; and the date it is due on. You can set an auto-debit or an auto-pay for this, which will simply prompt you before the payment and then once when it has been paid.
Depending on when the respective bills are due, you may set the date of auto-debit, however, be mindful that these dates are suitably placed after your salary day. For instance, your fixed amount payments could be placed for 3 days post your pay day. And your variable amount payments can be a week after your pay day, so that they are well after the more important payments, and well ahead of other expenses such as shopping.
Moreover, you can even set auto top-up for your prepaid (and postpaid) mobile phone service, by linking it to your bank account. This way you can ensure an uninterrupted and seamless experience every month, without bothering to make the payments manually, each time.
Automating your monthly payments helps you to remove things from your to-do lists, it also helps you keep track of your expenses, not to mention, it gives you more time for more important tasks.
This 10 part weekly series helps you identify and complete a single task every week to take charge of your financial life. Over these 10 tasks, you will know more about your money and how to make it work harder, while having to do less work and also worry less.