HomeHome : Monthly Tips : Dec 2015

Bank Electronically

December 2015 — Tip of the Month

I know several tech-savvy people who still manage their finances with pen and paper. I don't understand it. They still use a check ledger and mail their bills by check every month. It's almost 2016 and online banking has been around for nearly two decades. It's time to move to the digital age.

Managing your finances electronically has several benefits, including saving time, reducing errors, and avoiding late payments. Here are a few steps I recommend if you choose to go paperless as we approach the new year.

  1. Pay your bills online. — There is nearly a 100% chance that each company that sends you monthly bills has a website where you can log into your account and pay your bills. If your bank account isn't running on empty, setting all your bills to "autopay" is a fool-proof way to avoid late payments.
  2. Use financial management software. — A financial program like Quicken or Mint makes it easy to manage all your financial accounts in one place. Best of all, most banks allow you to import your financial information automatically, which makes it easy to keep track of your transactions.
  3. Deposit checks electronically. — A lot of banks allow you to simply take a photo of checks you receive and deposit them into your account using a mobile app. I've started doing this recently and it has saved me a lot of time driving to the bank and waiting in teller lines.

If you decide to make the move to electronic banking and your financial institution doesn't support features like downloading transactions or depositing checks electronically, it might be time to switch banks. I recently moved to a new bank after twenty years because my old bank was always lagging in technology. It was a hassle but a great decision.

- Per Christensson