Nowadays, companies offer multiple options for you to pay your bills. Whether you choose to pay manually or have your payments automatically deducted from your account (auto-pay); as long as you pay on time, companies could care less about which option you choose. But which option is best for you? Let’s examine the benefits of making automatic and manual payments.

Benefits of Auto-Pay

Convenience

The greatest benefit of auto pay is the peace of mind it brings for both you and the company. If you are an individual that hates having to remember due dates than setting up automatic payments might be right for you. After you input the required information, you no longer have to worry about paying your bills on time as the company will simply deduct the amount you owe. As long as there is enough money in your bank account your bills should be paid smoothly. 

Bill Reduction

As mentioned before automatic payments also offer peace of mind for companies as well. How? Although many companies do not care how you pay they do worry about when you will pay. Automatic payments ensures companies that your payments will not only be on time but when they can expect payment. This can potentially lead to savings for you. Believe it or not, some companies offer discounts for enrolling in auto-pay. For example, some phone companies give their customers discounts such as 10% off their bill every month. If you decide to sign up for auto-pay check to see if you can get a discount. 

Benefits of Manual Pay

 

Flexibility

When it comes to paying your bills the greatest asset you can have is flexibility. Financial flexibility allows you to exercise different payment strategies depending on your situation. For instance, imagine you live in an apartment complex and you need to pay your rent. If you wanted to make a payment quickly you could pay online using a debit or credit card. Or you can pay in person by depositing a money order or check. If you have a grace period you could make a payment at the last possible moment. Financial flexibility also allows you to pay more than you owe (a great technique for reducing loans quickly), less than you owe (if you wanted to make multiple smaller payments), or even pay late (not ideal but life happens).

Avoid Preventable Mistakes

Even though a company deducts money out of your account, when using auto-pay, the burden is still on you to ensure that your bill gets paid on time. For instance, if your due date happens to fall on a holiday or during a scheduled maintenance period your account may not get deducted in time potentially resulting in late fees. Another common mistake is spending too much and forgetting that an automatic payment was about to be withdrawn. Paying manually allows you to have greater control of  your finances by forcing you to be aware of managing your money.

 

Which One is Best For You?

So, after examining the information the obvious winner is…dependent on whether you prefer convenience or flexibility. If you prefer convenience then automatic payments are the better option as once you set it up you can forget about it. However, if you prefer flexibility then you should stick to paying your bills manually.

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