Sanda Block, a personal finance columnist for USA Today, wrote this article about the environmental advantages of viewing and paying your bills online. There are many environmentally friendly things you can do such as recycling, using less utilities energy, and carpooling to work. Some changes are more sacrificial than others, but this one is effortless. Many large companies are now giving you the option to receive your monthly statements and bills online. Once the monthly statement is ready, you’ll receive an email in your inbox stating that your monthly statement is ready to view. Block’s column talks about how many people pay their bills online, but they still receive a hard copy of their statement in the mail. If you are one of those people that keeps every document that is sent to you, you can still save a copy of it on your hard drive. If you’re paranoid about saving important documentation on your computer, than you can print a copy of it, and you’ll still be helping out the environment by saving on fuel costs. It was one less thing for the post office to deliver.
Look, if you aren’t paying your bills online yet, you’re living in the dark ages. Get over your paranoia about using your debit card or checking account informatino on the internet. The internet is VERY secure. Do some research about identity theft, and you will find that the majority of identity thieves are not high-tech computer hackers. They are scums of the earth that go scouring around garbage dumps for other people’s important documents. If you receive your bills electronically, then you’ll eliminate about 60 to 70 percent of your chance of being a victim of identity theft.
Paying your bills online has other advantages besides saving the environment. I pay all of my bills online. I don’t have them automatically debited from my account, because we usually do not keep a large cash reserve in our checking account. If you keep a cash cushion in your checking account, then having your utility bill or cable bill automatically withdrawn from your account is a wonderful thing. You’ll never have a late payment, and you’ll never have to think about it. Paying your bills online has other advantages besides saving the environment. When paying a payment on a credit card, as long as you remember the due date a few days ahead of time, you’ll never have a late fee. You can even set some credit cards up to send you a reminder to pay your bill through email. Have you ever sent in that credit card payment through snail mail and sweated it out for a few days wondering if they processed the payment before the due date? Yeah, don’t bother with all of that mess. Pay your bills online AND receive your statements online. You’ll help the environment and your financial life.