Putting your bills on automatic pilot

Home Forums Financial Preparedness Emergency Funds Putting your bills on automatic pilot

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  James Mitchner 10 months ago.

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  • #2294

    Molly Malone

    I would like to share a tactic that has worked very well for me as a person living alone. When you live alone, you have to consider how your bills will get paid if you are incapacitated. If you were in an accident or suddenly became acutely ill, you would be unable to collect your mail, write the checks and mail the envelopes. So the best thing I ever did for myself financially was to put all my bills on automatic pilot. For each bill, my creditor takes the money directly out of my checking account, automatically, on the due date. Every creditor I have offers this option. Sometimes I could do this by mailing the creditor a canceled check. I had some creditors who insist on getting a card number, so I gave them my debit card number.

    For this system to work, you MUST have enough “float” money always sitting in your checking account. In my case, I keep a sum of money equal to a month’s bills sitting in the checking account. That sum of money just sits there. It is not to be spent; it is “float” money. It is insurance that no bill will bounce. It is insurance that for one month of incapacitation, my bills will continue to get paid.

    I was forced to consider this issue when I was about 21 after being in a serious accident. While I was hospitalized and incapacitated, my employer fired me, my landlord evicted me, and all my belongings disappeared (I presume they were put out on the sidewalk with the trash). I didn’t own a car, or I assume the car would have been repossessed.

    If you live alone but you are positive that someone will take over the check-writing and bill-paying for you during a time of incapacitation, great. Otherwise, I would recommend putting your bills on automatic pilot.

  • #2331


    That’s good food for thought. I have my utilities and car payment set up like this just so I never forget.

  • #3169

    Jan Man

    Here in the UK it is called Direct Debit.We have had it for at least 20 years.It has its merits,and it has its downside.

  • #3187

    James Mitchner

    We do much the same. We use our cash-back card for most of the purchased over the month then pay it off at the end of the month. Most of our monthly bills are automatic deduction from our checking account. But, we still balance our finances with the monthly statement. Highly recommended. There have been occasions when creditors said payment not received when we had the payment number documented which causes them to back off. A little extra work but worth it!

  • #4728

    Sebastion Queeg

    Just a note.

    We recently had a card number linked to our acount stolen online somehow. Luckily I cought it in time after ‘only’ $1200 dollars were charged. I had the card canceled and the bank’s anti-fraud department reimbursed the money. But I had to go around and change every account that had auto payments linked to that card and set up new payments with a different account. Check your bank account at least a couple times a week.



    • #4756

      James Mitchner

      Been there, done that!  We had our credit card # stolen three times in one year.  We went to Virginia Beach twice one month and it was stolen each time.  We narrowed it down to dining in two specific restaurants.

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