I’m fanatic about financial automation. I hate keeping track of recurring payments. I hate paying interest. The whole process is an exercise in restraining creativity in favor of rote tedium. Yuck.
As a kid working paper routes and running lawn care businesses, I learned how important financial records are. Who paid? Who didn’t? When? Whom do I owe? Whom did I pay? … and so on.
Banks “in the day” were nuts about paper work. Deposit slips, bank books, check registers, pass books, yada yada yada. And there were errors. Lots of human errors. If you were banking then, you’ll remember having to go through and double check every line entry on your bank statement against your check stubs – because people were doing the entries and people make mistakes.
And we had to write check after check, month after month, licking stamp after envelope, to distribute our hard-earned cash. Only way to send payment was by going to a Western Usury, er, Union location!
Thank the Dis Pater for electronic banking.
Now I pay all my bills paid automatically. Mortgage, utilities, tuition, credit cards, insurance; all. I almost never see a single piece of paper anymore … except for the occasional PAPER CHECK.
Who sends checks now? Mothers and grandmothers sending birthday money. People paying for their share of group expenses. And government unemployment offices.
I let out a cheer for Photo Check Depositing announced last year and now available from many banks including Schwab, PayPal, BofA, Wells, Citi, etc.
Using your 2+ mega pixel smart phone (don’t try this with an iPad – that’s another story) and bank app, take pictures of the front and back of your checks and as Emeril says, ‘BAM!’ – check deposited! How great is that??
No envelope, no stamp, no snail mail!! Schwab posts within 24 hours. PayPal takes six days. Regardless, you get you money in your bank to make all your automated electronic payments with no sticky tongue and no worry that the check gets lost in the mail. What’s more, you get a visual record of the checks – awesome.