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Are you stressed over managing your bills? After all, you’ve got a lot going on in your day-to-day, and the last thing you want to do is get hit with late fees for missing payments.

Setting up automatic bill payments for everything from rent and mortgages to utilities and even those few bucks you borrowed from mom can save you time, stress and (most importantly) money. Avoid late fees and keep your credit report healthy with these savvy tips on how to manage bills with easy automatic payments.

What Is an Automatic Payment?

Automatic payments are payments that you can set up either through your bank or directly with the companies sending you bills, like your car loan provider or the electric company.

To set up automatic bill payments through your bank, ask about their bill pay feature. For example, eBills will provide notifications and options to pay immediately. You’ll just need to enter a few simple details, like the dates your bills are due.

Setting up automatic payments through companies you pay is a little more complicated. You’ll likely have to enroll in their automatic payment system and provide your debit card or checking account number.

From there, your automatic payments are all debited from your checking account on a specific date each month. When it comes to managing your bills stress-free, automatic payments are top of the list. The ability to “set it and forget it” lets you rest easy knowing that your bills will be paid on time each month without you having to lift a finger.

A Guide for Transitioning to Automatic Payments

It’s easy to set up automatic payments for your monthly bills. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making sure you get all your monthly bills automated through bill pay at your bank.

  1. Make a list of all your monthly bills and credit card payments.
  2. Explore your bank’s bill pay options. Many offer valuable rewards programs where you can earn points for each bill they pay for you every month. Most bill pay programs are free. If you need a next-day payment plan, such as Pay It Faster, that can usually be arranged for a small fee.
  3. Gather the account information for each bill and credit card: account number, mailing address, monthly payment amount and due date.
  4. Enroll the bill or credit card in automatic payments, designating the account that will be used to pay the bill each month.
  5. You’re done! Sit back and relax.

Not only have you put yourself on a path to avoiding late fees and potentially negative information on your credit report for late payments, you’ll also never have to wonder if you forgot to pay your car insurance last month. But there’s one more way to make automatic payments stress-free.

One Final Tip for Saving Money and Stress When Using Automatic Payments

Now that you’ve answered the question of how to manage bills each month, here’s one last important stress-saving tip to keep those automatic payments working for you: Set reminders.

While one of the main benefits of automatic payments is that you don’t have to remember when payments are due, the balance of the bank account you enroll may not always keep up with your schedule of automated withdrawals. But one more set-it-and-forget-it layer can help.

For each bill you enroll in automatic payments, set a reminder three days prior to the date the payment will be deducted. This way, you can transfer any funds necessary from another bank account to cover the payment. A simple reminder can keep you from paying more for a bill than you need to, but it may be worth it to look into overdraft protection options, as well.

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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