Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Banking Thoughts

I've been doing the on-line bill pay thing for a while now, and I've decided I don't like it.

Yes, it's cheaper. Yes, it saves having to buy stamps. Yes, it saves trees and gasoline (perhaps offset by the fact that all bills still arrive with an envelope which I don't use, meaning more trash or more recycling). I haven't made the leap to getting my bills by e-mail yet; the few statements and notices that do arrive by e-mail tend to get ignored.

But I don't find it quicker. It doesn't save on record-keeping, because I still have to log the payments and record the transaction numbers.

Maybe my problem is that I'm only semi-automated. But I don't think I want to go further. In fact, I want to go back to the old way, with checks and stamps and envelopes. I miss the sensation of closure that comes with dropping a handful of envelopes into the mailbox with a satisfying clunk. Clicking a button can't match that feeling.

And more automation is definitely not the cure for the underlying problem: On-line is just too darn slick. I don't feel like I'm in touch with my money anymore. I know I'm lucky to have it. But it comes in electronically, and I send it out electronically, and even when it's still in my account (not for long!), it doesn't seem real.

Or am I just weird?


  1. I love online bill pay, probably because I am managing expenses for our house AND my in-laws. I pay everything I can that way, but most of our expenses are pretty consistent. I just have to change amounts sometimes and pop in there every couple of days to see what's cleared and check for accuracy. It has been a great help with my in-laws' bill payment which had become overwhelming for them in their current state of health. As someone who HATES HATES HATES to balance the checkbook, I find great relief in the online bill pay. Isn't it funny how everyone's perspective is different?

  2. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. I appreciate your enthusiasm and yes, it obviously works great for some people like you)!

    Or maybe the fact that I enjoy balancing the checkbook and am still doing it the manual way means I am not cut out for on-line banking. :-)

  3. Even though I whole-heartedly embrace the new technology, and do use online bill pay for all (ha, just two, school loans & cell) my bills, I'm not so sure I would go so far to pay my mortgage and utilities online if I had them.

    If the average person has 8 bills to pay every month, I'm not so sure I could keep track of them and their payments in my head. As it is, I easily lose track of my membership renewal dates. Luckily, they all fall within the same month, so if I happen to catch one email, I am reminded of the others.

    To sum up... you're not weird :) You're smart!


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