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Written By: Gary on May 30, 2006 2 Comments

These are things that (to me) save time and money and I don’t understand why people who have the option don’t use them…

Use Mail In Prescriptions
We have a prescription plan at work and it’s a great one. It’s $5 an order of a prescription (generally a month’s worth) but if you mail it in they send you about 3 months worth for $2. $2 vs. $15 and I don’t have to go back to the pharmacy, this isn’t a complicated decision.
Using the ATM Machine
I go to the back, they’ve got two drive through lines backed up and I generally pull right up the the ATM machine (or wait for one person) and get my cash (maybe make a deposit) and go and the same people are still at the back of the line. I’m not sure why all those people are in line, are they getting better cash? Do they really like using the pneumatic tubes that much? It’s pretty much the same issue using the walk up bank vs. walk up ATM, except you don’t get to use the tubes…
Automatic bill payment
Many (most?) utility companies will automatically charge your bill to your checking account, these are generally done the day the bill is due and it’s generally free. Did you get this: you don’t have to use a check, take the time to write it out, use a 39 cent stamp and then mail it (where it’s probably going to get there early or late, not the day it’s due, right?), they’ll just do it automatically for you! My gas, electric, cable and cell phone company will do this. Plus my mortgage, my association fees, car insurance, homeowners insurance and several of my charge cards will do this too (all on the exact day it’s due). This isn’t on-line banking, they just do it (for free). That’s about 8 checks and envelopes a month plus over $3 in stamps.

Use Direct Deposit
All these people I know have to rush out on payday and deposit their paycheck. They could just have work automatically deposit it and it would be there for them, no muss or fuss. It actually gets touched by less humans that way, which to me means less chance of an error. Actually, I know why some people don’t do this, they deposit the check at the bank less some cash for themselves and don’t tell their spouse. If the whole check went in, someone would notice how much cash they took out…
Buy stamps
You can get a ‘buy stamps by mail’ envelope at the post office and send for stamps via postage paid mail and when they mail you the stamps they send you another envelope. This still takes time but if you aren’t in a hurry it beats the line at the post office.

For all this I don’t have to remember to do anything, it’s just done automagically and for free. You can’t beat a deal like that. I hate paying bills and I like my free time, it’s a nice balance.

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