With the recent wildfires devastating the Amazon and other natural (or unnatural) disasters all over the world, people are desperately looking for ways to become eco-friendly. It is blatantly obvious that we all need to be more thought conscious about our environment. Although not all of us can go plastic-free or take the time to make sure that every single recyclable gets rinsed properly, there are ways to make sure that you are doing your part!
If you stop to think about it, the trees are one of the earth’s most precious resources. They are the “Air Givers” to the proverbial sphere we call home. A 2015 study that was reported in the journal Nature has shed light on the fact that 46 percent of the earth’s trees have been cut down!
Ok, so let’s get down to one serious way to help stop this natural resource depletion merry-go-round that we’re on! Something that is extremely EASY and can even help you to better manage your finances… FROM HOME! Highlighted below are three easy, and earth-loving ways to go paperless by paying your bills online.
If you want to do at least one small thing to reduce your impact on the environment, then going paperless is it!
Method # 1: Using Your Banking System as a Platform
Most people already use online banking to monitor their hard-earned money. Believe it or not a lot of banks that offer online banking services also offer a FREE way to manage your bills through their banking platform. Some easy to recognize entities such as Bank of America, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Huntington Bank, and PNC Bank are just a few examples of where you can go to utilize this service.
At Huntington Bank for example; you can send your payments straight from your computer or phone (with the app). You only have to set your payees up once, and they give you options as to whether you want to pay the bill just once or set up recurring payments. This bank even guarantees that if you use their payment services and schedule your payments on time, any late fees you incur (if ever) will be automatically covered! All you have to do is log into your account and check out their bill pay tab! So easy!
When you set up payments through your banking service it gives you the ability to pay all your bills on ONE site, and you can bet that site is secure. It usually only takes a couple of minutes to schedule your bills. With most services, you can set payments for up to a year in advance. There is also the benefit of receiving notifications from your banking site of when payments are due. The benefits gained are endless.
If you decided that you want to utilize online bill pay through your bank, and you REALLY do want to be eco-friendlier, make sure to contact your payees and set up paperless billing! You’ll never see a paper bill in the mail ever again, you’ll never have to buy stamps or lick an envelope, and you can rest easy knowing you are trying to be a better human!
Method # 2: Paying Directly to the Merchant Website
So, this might be the most used method for online bill pay. Most entities for which you owe money, bill payment can be accessed on the company website. If you are someone that would rather pay your bill and see your bill all in one place, then this is the way to go. Not all companies do, however, offer bill payment online. The most direct way to navigate whether or not they do is to go to their website and find out.
If you have always used snail mail and have never used the online method, there are a few things that you will have to do. You will have to set up accounts with EACH of your payees, firstly. After that is done, you’ll have the option to pay, by using a recurring payment, or by using the single payment method. You can also set up your payment method to be remembered the next time you go to pay your bill, or not. You can find all these options in the user settings. REMEMBER you are saving the trees, so while you are in settings go ahead and set up paperless billing then add your e-mail address to get bill reminders.
Rest easy knowing you are trying to be a better human!
Keeping track of how to navigate online billing in this way can be confusing. You have multiple websites to navigate, and not one site is the same, so take advantage of the search bar! If it’s hard to remember exactly what the name of the website is to pay your bill you can always use Google! Let’s say that you have to pay your Metro PCS bill but can not, for the life of you, remember what their web address is! Just open up your browser and google it. For example; you can type in “pay your metropcs bill” and it will pop right up.
Method # 3: Taking Advantage of Other Payment Methods
There are MANY other alternative methods to go paperless and pay your bills. You can choose to use a digital wallet service or a wiring service. There are also one-stop-shop services that may be put to use for all your digital payment needs. There are so many different options to take advantage of. When you get used to going paperless, the traditional route to bill payment almost seems like a waste of time and downright archaic.
Companies that offer wiring services, like Western Union or MoneyGram, have been around a long time and are recognizable. They offer money transfers through them to the institution (or person) you want to pay – for a fee. These services are useful when you want to send funds through an entity that you know and trust and get that money there QUICKLY. They can also be found in brick and mortar stores if you are looking for somewhere to physically go to pay your bills.
Having a digital wallet (or e-wallet) may be more up your alley if you are uncomfortable with multiple websites and companies having your banking or credit card information. It works by preloading your e-wallet with funds from your bank, then use that service to pay your bill. Services like this protect users’ banking info and passwords that way merchants are not privy to any of your banking information, and you may feel more secure. A good example of this is Paypal.
If you want to do at least one small thing to reduce your impact on the environment, then going paperless is it! The suggestions made here are just a small sampling of the kind of sites and services that are out there for your benefit (and mother nature’s). It is just a small act that you can EASILY do from home to help save trees. While we can’t control natural (or manmade) disasters, we can do this.
Is online billing something you think you can do to help?