Monday, April 4, 2011

The real cost of paying bills by mail

While the USPS does a great job delivering the mail - most of the time - electronic bill delivery and payment is far more reliable, easier to use and cheaper.  Cheaper as in FREE .

As I noted in my online banking posting, there are a lot of "Dagnabbit!" people out there who like to get bills by mail and then pay them by mail.  There is a real risk your mail may be lost or delayed, or checks can be stolen from your mail and "washed" and cashed.  In addition, if payments arrive late, you may be subject to late fees as well as rate-jacking on your credit cards.

If that isn't enough to convince you - plus the hassle and inconvenience of having to be in one place to get the mail - not to mention the use of paper and forest products and the impact on the environment (whew!  Ain't that enough already?) consider the cost of postage.

in any given month, you may have the following bills:

1.  Mortgage or Rent
2.  Car Payment 
3.  Electric Bill
4.  Phone Bill
5.  Cell Phone Bill
6.  Cable TV Bill
7.  Insurance Bill(s)
8.  Credit Card Bill(s)
9.  Lawn care or other home maintenance bills
10.  Miscellaneous, including membership fees, subscriptions, taxes, etc.

This can easily be $4.40 a month at current postal rates, if you have all 10 bills.  Granted you can combine some in one of those bundled telcom deals, but even then, the savings are pretty paltry.  Then throw in the hassle and inconvenience of going to the Post Office to get stamps and such.  Licking envelopes, writing out checks, what's not to like?

$4.40 a month - that works out to $49.20 a year, or what I just paid for a nice lunch at the Club, with a bottle of champagne.


Champagne lunch at a beautiful restaurant, along with easy-to-use point-and-click to pay your bills,


screwing around with stamps and checks and gummy envelope taste in your mouth, with a cheese sandwich.

Not a hard choice for me to make!  I'll take Champagne.  Living stingy means living better on less. Not spending more while thinking you are "saving money".

Just $5 a month works out to over $1000, with interest, for a working lifetime.  That's $1000 you'd wish you had in retirement.

Now granted, my postal delivery person gets his bills by mail and pays by mail.  But you have to expect that.  The guy working at the GM plant HAS to say that a Chevy is better than a Toyota.  But for the rest of us, well, we can live in reality, fortunately.

Oh, yea, those computers might go "Haywire" and say "This does not compute!  This does not compute!" and then charge you ten billion dollars for your cell phone bill, which you will HAVE to pay, and you will end up destitute and homeless.

Riiiiiight, that could happen.   NOT!