Friday, November 22, 2013

Automating Your Finances

These days, you can pay your monthly mortgage or rent, utilities, insurance, loans and credit cards without lifting a finger. Automation is a great time saver – and it can also reduce your vulnerability to identity theft – but it’s also important to use it wisely.

How it Works:
There are a few different methods you can use to automate paying your bills. If available, the most convenient option is to use your credit union’s bill-paying service. You log into your checking account online, input who, how much, and when you want to pay, and your financial institution sends an electronic or paper check. You can do this as a one time or recurring payment. Another option is to set it up directly with your creditor or service provider – generally all you need to do is let them know when you want the payment taken out of your checking account and submit an authorization form. You can also use a third-party service to pay your bills. It generally does not make sense to spend money on this. The best option would be to utilize the free service from your credit union.

Avoid Complications
Scheduling automatic bill payments does not mean that you can completely forget about them. First, you want to make sure that you have enough money in your account to cover the withdrawals. You also want to verify that the withdrawal actually occurred when it was supposed to. Mistakes sometimes happen, and you are still responsible for paying your bills on time. Don’t forget to review your statements too – if you don’t, you may miss an unauthorized charge or notice of a change in terms. Lastly, if you close a checking account or credit card that you are paying bills from, be sure that you update your bill pay information so that future payments are assigned to your new account.

Automatically Save
Don’t just AutoPay – AutoSave as well!  If you wait and see what money you have left over at the end of the month, you may find that you have little or nothing left. There are typically two options for AutoSave: have a portion of your paycheck directly deposited into your savings account, or set up an automatic, monthly or biweekly transfer from your checking account to your savings account. If you choose the second option, it is best to schedule this to coincide with your payday. By automating, it will be easier to build toward your goals and establish an emergency fund.

Banking on the go is easier than you think! Life is busy; don’t let banking slow you down. Take a Pen Air FCU branch with you wherever you go and pay bills, transfer funds, deposit checks, or even apply for a loan!  Our Mobile Banking services make banking easy, fast, and secure. For more information, visit today! 

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