Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Time to start saving money by stamping out bill payment by mail.

More than ever before American’s have started using online banking to save time and money. The latest postal rate increase is a great excuse for those of us who have not connected yet, to also make the switch.

I started paying my bills online several years ago. Even though the cost savings was not significant enough to make a huge difference, the simplicity of the process and the time savings, made the minor learning curve well worth my effort.
The first-class postage rate is now 42 cents. If you're like most Americans, you pay 20 to 30 bills per month. So for those of you who are still "going postal," the 1-cent increase will cost you about 40 cents to 60 cents per month.

For the first time, bill payments made online exceed paper-check bill payments among online households, according to the 2007 Consumer Bill Payment Survey, just released by Harris Interactive and The Marketing Workshop. About 74% of households not pay at least one bill online.

Granted, online banking is hardly new. During the dot-com days, intrepid onliners used various financial-software packages, including Microsoft Money and Quicken, to help automate their bills and monthly statements.

But they had to learn the software. Then they printed lots of checks anyway, because most recipients weren't set up to receive electronic payments. And banks charged fees for online transactions. The software packages helped you categorize expenses and print neat checks, but they didn't save much time or money.

Now things have changed. It is as simple as a couple of keys strokes and a click of the mouse and you can be on your way to a simplified life, more financial control and some extra money in your account.

Click here to learn more about Hawthorne’s Online Banking and BillPayer.

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