Paying bills while in self-quarantine lock down

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 11 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #26008

    Anonymous

    When I’m in self-quarantine lock down one of the things I don’t want to do is go out to the mailbox. I pay all my bills electronically but I prefer paper statements. So, my first thought was to change all my bills to receive them electronically after I lock the doors. But is that good enough? Will some vendors have a delay sending electronic bills for any reason? I don’t know. Then there is the problem that some bills may already be on the way by mail. So maybe I should switch to electronic bills now?

    Several of my bills don’t have an ebill option. I could look at the old paper bills for where I can pay online. Or, I could just mail them a check, but that puts me back out at the mailbox. I don’t want to fall behind on my bills and mess up my credit record. I certainly don’t want to lose my house or have my utilities turned off.

    Some of my bills are already setup to draft monthly, like car and house insurance and a few others. But I won’t do that with bills that can vari every month, like utilities.

    If the banks close or credit cards stop working then I can’t pay anything without leaving lock down and paying in cash, but neither can anybody else.

    Any thoughts?

  • #26011

    namelus
    Participant

    We  have written calender with due dates. Use online to check balances as of that date and pay as  snail mail never gets here on time. Utilities are not an issue as off grid. Two recurring are credit card and  phone  which can be checked easy.

  • #26013

    corsaire
    Participant

    All of my bills are on autodraft. The utilities and others give me at least a weeks notice of the bill; the amount and when it will be deducted from my account.

    So no ,the vendors wont delay in sending you a statement.

  • #26020

    Olivia Green
    Participant

    i pay the utilities by writing a large check twice a year.
    the statement each month shows what the credit balance is.
    if there were to be problems i’d have time to deal and not have service cut off.

  • #26021

    John Park
    Participant

    Great post, something I hadn’t given any real thought to except in the case of massive pandemic — but of course by then, it would be too late. I have been reluctant due to not wanting credit card info on the web that much, but the risks there seem to pale in comparison. Also just opening the mailbox, which has been opened by the postman, who has touched every letter. UGH.
    My family will begin transitioning ASAP.

  • #26023

    Anonymous

    All good ideas.

    @namelus I rarely check my accounts, other than my bank account, over the internet. I’ll setup online access to as many of my bills as provide that service. This will give me more flexibility. However, some vendors now charge a 3% “convenience fee” for paying by credit card, so I will keep paying them my usual way as long as I can. I’ve been meaning meaning to setup such a calendar for some time. I will do that on computer for budgeting and on a paper calendar for emergency use.

    @ corsaire I keep as little money in the bank as possible because I don’t want to lose any if something happens and the bank takes my money as their own. They can legally do that now in certain circumstances. My SS check hits sometime during a 7 day period. My electric bill also hits during that window. I would have to make a cash deposit to cover the electric bill if the SS check is late.

    @Olivia I like that idea. I could pay 6 months of my water bill with little trouble. 6 months of the electric bill would be a problem, but I could pay a month in advance that would solve the scheduling discussed above.

    @john I thought about how I could go to the mail box, say once a week or when I expected something. I’ll ware an N95 mask, Nitrile gloves and goggles. Then open the envelops and any packages outside using some sort of “clean room” technique so as to not touch the bills and other contents. Or, I could photograph the bill. Then burn or put in the garbage can the envelops/boxes. Then I’ll clean the goggles, phone and my shoes and dispose of the gloves and mask. I don’t have enough isolation suits to use those for the mail. I’ll save those in case I have to go to the drug store.

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