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Not that we're financially able to do this but I'm thinking when we're both retired.

DH would like to be in a cabin in the Adirondacks all summer. Hard enuf to figure out how to secure your home, etc, but what about the bills? I'm a little leary about having it taken directly out of a bank account.

Does anyone do this?

Patty
 

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Tricky Grama said:
Not that we're financially able to do this but I'm thinking when we're both retired.

DH would like to be in a cabin in the Adirondacks all summer. Hard enuf to figure out how to secure your home, etc, but what about the bills? I'm a little leary about having it taken directly out of a bank account.

Does anyone do this?

Patty
Have your bills sent electronically to your e-mail and do online banking.
 

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Big Front Porch advocate
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Will bill pay via your bank (checking or savings acct) you can schedule payments of virtually everything for a year or longer in advance. Set a start date then weekly, every two weeks, monthly are some options, or make an indivdual payment set up on certain dates =- some are checks that they cut and mail (and provide the postage and envelopes) and some are electronic. The mail/electronic depends on what the receipient handles.

I use it all the time for the last 4 or 5 years.

Angie
 

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Shut off: Phone, power, cable, internet, gas, water, etc. unless the cost of having the service restored later is more than you'd spend on base fees. Consider doing so anyway because for some utilities, like electric or water, there can be problems if you're not there. A minor leak can turn into a major problem over three months ...

(Also, even if you don't turn the service off, shut power off at your main breaker and turn your water off before it goes into your house. Note: if you have a freezer full of food, and you're going to be gone months, it's probably best to get rid of the food and turn your power off rather than leaving the power on. A freezer full of food can make a stink that you'll never fully get out of your house if it has a few months to rot after it breaks down. -- I was ready to call the cops to do a welfare check on neighbors I hadn't seen in a couple weeks due to the stink coming from their house when they came home from vacation ... their freezer had died, rather than the neighbors. Thankfully. :rolleyes: But I digress.)

If you cancel everything that's practical that leaves bills like the mortgage, car, etc. that are largely repeating. You know what the amount is so you can write a check before you see the bill. (Though it's a good idea to call and verify they got the payment and nothing has changed.)

Everything else -- just call at the first of the month and find out how much you owe, and then mail in a check or pay electronically (online or by phone.)

I often pay my bills before I receive the statements* because it's just easier to send everyone a check on the last weekend before the end of the month. There's a couple things I have to call on (like the power bill, if it hasn't arrived) but no biggy.

*Only thing to watch if you just send a payment without receiving a bill is to make sure for things like credit cards and loans that you don't send it before a certain date -- then they'll record two payments in one month, none in the next month, and it's a PITA to sort out and often you end up needing to make a second payment. Great for your principal on the loan, not so good for your wallet.

Leva
 

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we do about all our bills now on-line. that is the only good way IMHO
 

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I am not very "in" with the internet banking and so forth......so when we are away and I need to keep bills paid....I pay the small ones ahead (we have one outside light bill that is only $6.95 per month and one trash acct that is only $17.95 per two months and so those I paid ahead / once it was for 2 months and once it was for 3 months). I just pay a larger amount and it shows up as a "credit" On the bill until the "credit" is used up.

Our mortgages and that insurance is on an automatic draft out of one account and so those just keep getting paid that way.

The other larger bills that amounts change monthly (like electric and the propane man) I left signed checks with a sister and she got the bills, filled in the amount and mailed it for me. She sent me email telling me what the amounts were, and also wrote on the copy of the bill what check number it was that paid it.

I did not want to fool with changing address, forwarding mail nor doing the online and so the above worked for me.

I suppose I should learn the online banking one day but for now the old way works.
 

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I let the electric and phone companies directly debit my account, and have for years without any problems. the local electric coop gives a $2.50 per month discount if you let them directly debit. The other mail can be forwaded by the post office or a family member. That would give you the option of paying by check or on-line, if you have on line access in the back woods!

You can "Pre-pay" some bills, but that is not a good cash flow practice. Still, it works.
 

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i go to each companies internet site and pay through electronic check that way i don't set up anything automatic....don't trust anyone but myself
 

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Our bank offers electronic bill pay. They offer an automated system where you program in the payee, amount you want to pay and the date to send the check just once, or a totally manual version where you enter the payee, amount and date to send each time you want to send a payment. I believe all of our utilities offers a log-in website where you can view and pay the monthly bill but I know at least one charges a fee so we just log in to get the monthly total and pay through electronic bill pay. The only bills that get paid via written check from us personally are those that are occasional or one-time only (like a gas credit card or catalog orders.)
 
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