Money, Day 6: Billpay and Lag Time

October 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm 4 comments

Okay…if there’s one thing checking my bank balance every day has taught me, it’s that lag times are sort of annoying.  I paid our mortgage this month using the lender’s online bill-pay, which was, admittedly, convenient… however, it’s now been about three days since I did it and my bank has not been notified.   This doesn’t matter much either way; I paid it early, and it’s not due until the 1st, and I already have enough of a grip on my account now that I know the money is there and will continue to be there no matter what. I would just feel better if the account reflected the debit NOW, so I could more definitely assess my current situation and figure out what it means for the rest of the month.

I have three big bills coming out right now.  I have the Mortgage, obviously, the electric bill and the Car Insurance.  It looks like the electric and car insurance bills have hit, fortunately, so that’s sort of a relief, but I really don’t like the lag time here.  It’s frustrating.

That said, I spent part of last night setting up my bank’s BillPay system.  Up until now, whenever I’ve paid bills online, I’ve done it at each individual payee’s website.  This is handy because I can see EXACTLY what I owe at any given time, but A) not every payee I pay out to has this option, and B) doing it this way still forces me to remember to pay…something I will probably be better about in the future, but forgetting something is still a danger.   Going through my bank to do it instead might be better because A) all of my payees are listed there, reminding me they need to be paid, and B) the lag time, ideally, would be far less since my bank is the one handling the withdrawal.

So we’ll see.  It was really easy to set up, so that was good.  Now I just need that first paycheck in November to come in so I can crack my knuckles and really get started.



Entry filed under: Money, Successes. Tags: , , , .

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  • 1. Pangie  |  October 27, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    It makes me laugh that the PRPs have to do with Jet Lag.

    I LOVE bill pay through the bank’s website. It’s so handy. I even use it to mail a check to my brother.

  • 2. Jennifer  |  October 27, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Yeah.. I have a Payee option set up to move money from the main account into Andy’s.

    Gotta love not paying postage. I mentioned to Mom that I was setting up BillPay for myself, and she was utterly mystified. They pay your bill for you? For free? Yes, Mom.. For free. WHY? It’s a service they offer. What’s in it for them? Heck if I know…

    Actually, I do wonder about that.. What IS in it for the bank?

  • 3. Melalvai  |  October 30, 2009 at 8:25 am

    It encourages you to use your account and stay with that bank. All other things being equal, you might choose the bank that offers that service over the one that doesn’t.

    We’ve been using BillPay for a few years. The one time we had a problem with it was with our rent check. Our last landlord, rent was due on the 1st of the month, and if it wasn’t received by the 5th, he’d charge $10/day in late fees. I had it set up so BillPay automatically paid it on the 1st. That way, I didn’t have to worry about me forgetting to pay it, and I knew the money would be in the account, since I get paid on the 1st. But since it was due ON the 1st, and a) it takes a few days to process and b) postal service doesn’t run on weekends & holidays. That resulted in our rent being late on more than one occasion. He tried to charge us late fees, until we pointed out that we’d waited a mighty long time for him to get things repaired in the house.

    Now I write out a check for the rent. Our current landlady probably wouldn’t care if it was paid by the 10th instead of by the 5th. But I don’t want to risk it.

  • 4. Jennifer  |  October 30, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Yeah..this is one reason why our mortgage payment goes out on the 20th when the second check of the month prior arrives. That way there’s plenty of time for all of that processing crap. This is one thing Andy was doing before that bugged me, actually, beause our Mortgage lender has a grace period of something like 15 days, and he was paying the mortgage on the 6th even though it was due on the 1st. It didn’t affect our credit rating, I don’t think, but still violated a principle as far as I was concerned.

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