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Online Accounts—Bill Pay and Money Management

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Utilizing these tools can help you organize your finances

California's Department of General Services recently admitted that between 2004 and 2011, the state paid more than $34 million in fees for bills that it paid late. While your household's late-payment fees will probably come nowhere near California's total, avoiding these fees altogether should be your ultimate goal.

Your financial institution likely offers you many different options for bill payment and money management for your online account. Utilizing these benefits will reduce the likelihood that you pay late and can save you thousands in unnecessary fees.

Bill Payment Tools

Using your financial institution's automated bill payment feature allows you to pay your bills on time to the correct businesses, no matter how busy you are. Whether you are unexpectedly hospitalized, away on vacation, or simply active and living a full life, by setting up automatic bill pay you can ensure that your bills are paid on time. Depending on the options available through your financial institution, you may be able to set up autopay to occur without your supervision, or you may have the option to require your electronic approval before payment is released.

Additionally, your financial institution may have a reminder service available that sends you an e-mail or other notification when you have a payment due soon. Taking advantage of either of these benefits is a great way to save money in the long run.

Money Management Tools

Bills aren't paid late only because an individual has forgotten a due date. Sometimes they're paid late because there simply isn't enough money in the account to make the payment. Many financial institutions now offer money management tools that allow their customers to create savings goals for their checking and savings accounts, receive notifications when their balances are falling below a certain level, and receive alerts when bills are nearing their due date. Some financial institutions even have programs that allow account holders to enter anticipated spending needs and to measure their current balance and anticipated income against those future needs. Each of these features makes managing money easier, which means timely bill payment is more likely to happen. Even if you use just your financial institution's overdraft protection feature, you'll likely experience a decrease in late fees.

For more information about how your online account was designed to help make bill payment and money management easier, stop by or give us a call.

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