Save Money, Pay Your Bills Online

I had a conversation with my coworker last week about a check ordering mishap she’d been through.  Apparently she ordered checks through her bank back in March and they never showed up so she had the bank order another batch.  Two days later she received two sets of identical checks.

She asked if we had a shredder anywhere at work.  We don’t since we use a shredding company for confidential documents.  At that she said she’d just have to spend several hours later that evening cutting up the duplicate set of checks.  I asked her how much the checks cost, she said either $12 or $25.

Then I suggested she just use all the checks.  She was aghast at the idea.  She isn’t a business, I told her and asked how long it would take for her to use the checks.  She said about three months. Three months!  Good grief!

She also doesn’t use any form of electronic bookkeeping, and I think she’s said in the past that she hasn’t balanced her checking account for years.  I don’t see any reason why she can’t use the second duplicate set of checks, except for the fact that the bank statements might point out that these are duplicate check numbers.  If she owned a business she could never get away with that, but she’s not.

So let’s say she gets 200 checks for $12.00. That’s six cents a check.  Most of the companies she pays probably provide an envelope, so no cost there. But each stamp costs $0.42.  The checks last about three months. So she is spending every three months, about $96.00 on bill paying.  If the checks cost $25, her cost goes up to $109.  She emails her sister regularly, she surfs the ‘net, she just learned how to send text messages, she uses Microsoft Word and can do a little in Excel. I think she’s Internet savvy enough to pay her bills online.

That would save her ~$400 a year in bill paying expenses.  Can you imagine spending that much?

Mrs. Accountability

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2 thoughts on “Save Money, Pay Your Bills Online

  1. I don’t understand WHY she would cut up checks (unless they were the same check numbers, in which case the bank would freak out). Sure, it might take her 3 months to go through the checks (it takes me something like 1.5 years, minimum!) but then she’d still have to pay $12 for checks. So why on earth wouldn’t she just keep them for later?!

    I love electronic billing. We do it all the time. It makes it easier (and cheaper) to pay down debt with each bill. I don’t have to worry about transit time or the check actually arriving. Once, a check never showed up and I was charged late fees and interest. I called the post office up, angry as hell, and was told plainly that unless you ensure the item (yes, even a check) then you have no recourse if it doesn’t show up. Lovely.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    The checks are duplicate numbers.

    I don’t think the bank will care if she uses the second set of duplicates. I can understand why the bank would freak out if she used check 1001 from set A, then check 1001 from set B, one right after the other. But if she uses check 1001 from set A to check 1200 from April to June, and then in July starts again with check 1001 from set B, I don’t see what the problem would be. I know in the past I’ve misplaced my box of checks and used the checks out of order, like WAY out of order (using 500s, then using 1000s) and the only way I knew the bank knew was the asterisks to show the checks were used out of order. I would definitely call my bank, if I were my coworker and find out if I could use the second set. Especially if they cost $25/set! Thanks, Abigail, for visiting and responding!

    [Reply]

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