I am on a 6 weeks audit mission that is now turning into two months. Being away from home with work has forced me to find an easier way to pay my bills, transfer money to beneficiaries while I am far way. As I pay my municipality rates and taxes on Saturday, I thought it might be worth it to share with you how you can make it easier to pay your bills.
As part of the budgeting process this month, I added an additional column on my excel spreadsheet of how I can expect to pay each bill. I had a few categories which I use such as cash, debit order, EFT as well swiping. I was forced to do this because last months I EFT everything and exceeded my monthly limit which I am unable to change as I am out of the country.
So here are my steps on how you can become efficient at making your payments:
- Decide what platform you are going to use to make your payments. The first year I started working, I stood in long ques at the bank to go send my mother money. I also used to go physically to Nampost to go deposit my savings before I got comfortable with internet banking as well as scheduled payments. If you have not yet signed up, register for online banking as well as the cellphone banking app. It saves you time and stress. At this stage, I only use my cellphone banking app. ( I have forgotten my online banking log in details).
- Decide who you are going to be paying and via what method. Some of the bills I continue to pay cash are my church giving, petrol as the service station closest to me does not swipe and taxi fees if I decide to use public transport. I then swipe for groceries, and lunch related bills. My investments and insurance goes off via debit order and the rest of my discretionary savings I EFT.
- For all EFT payments, add the accounts you need to make payments to as beneficiary and ensure that you know what your reference number should be. For example, I pay my rates and taxes via EFT and municipality requires me to use my municipality account number as a reference number.
- Sort out your limits accordingly and be safe. Each of your banking account will have cash withdrawal , swiping and EFT limits. Agree with the bank on what your limits will be on each of these three method and use it accordingly. I purposefully made my EFT limit a little lower so that in an event my account is hacked, the person will not be able to clean my account in one day.
In addition, each of these methods of payments may or may not attract fees depending on the type of bank card you have. Generally EFT are free and swiping cost less than deducting, but sometimes it can be free if you are on a bundled rate or you may have limited instances of each.
The easier way to save your self a headache is just to automate everything. Everything does not have to be via a debit order but savings is effective that way. The rest of the bills as long as you have a scheduled payment or an added beneficiary, it is good enough.
There are better things to do then standing in long ques.