Most banks provide their customers with the option to use online bill pay. Bill pay is a service that will take a desired recipient and cut a check using your money from the bank. The bank then mails the check to the desired person or company on the date requested without you having to pay for postage or your personal information being on the check.
Create a Bill Pay account
If you are already using internet banking, you should have easy access to the bill pay feature through your accounts page when you first log in. If you are not using online banking, you will need to register your account on your banks home page such as www.wellsfargo.com or www.usbank.com.
Before you register or start using bill pay, be sure to find out if your bank will charge you for use of the service. Fees can be as small as $6 a month or nonexistent, depending on your bank and the types of accounts you hold with them. Check to see if your bank charges you by the month or by the bill or at all for bill pay before you register for the service.
Manage your bills online
Once you have registered, the website will prompt you to create a new bill. You will give information such as the name of the company or individual you are sending money to and the address the check where the check will be sent. Once you have selected a date, the money will be withdrawn from your account that day and placed in a different account owned by the bank.
The check is then sent from this second account to the intended receiver with any information you have provided including billing account numbers, your name and your address. Include as much information on the check as your bank will allow. There is usually an option to write in the memo line so you can include a billing account number or your name and address.
Easy Step By Step Instructions For Using Online Bill Paying
- Check with your bank to see what bill pay features are included with your account.
- Register for online bill pay with your bank.
- Add all of your accounts to the bill pay
- Begin sending payments through your bank’s bill pay service.
Warnings, Advice, and Suggestions When Setting Up Online Bill Paying
Be sure to allow 3-5 business days for the check to arrive at its destination. Even though the money has been taken out of your account, it still has not arrived. Plan ahead to avoid late fees when paying bills and be sure there is enough money in the account on the day you have specified.
A marriage is supposed to be forever, and the first few months of forever are easy enough. But as the years drag on, the bills pile up and the kids start arriving, the fun and games of early marriage start to fade away. But you can keep the romance and spirit of your marriage alive – it just takes a bit of work
Start Dating Again
The best way to keep the romance alive in a marriage is to remember what put it there in the first place. Go on dates as regularly as possible. A date is an outing where the two of you leave the kids behind with a sitter or set up a rendezvous with a movie and take out after the kids are safely in bed for the night. In short – no kids allowed.
Don’t just spend the "date" sorting laundry or running errands together. Sit close, cuddle and maybe kiss a little. Laugh at the funny parts of the movie and talk about your hopes and dreams. Enjoy your time together, even if it’s just a couple of hours a week – that may be all you need to stay connected and feel romantic.
One of the best ways to show you care about someone is to bring them little treats and surprises that are meaningful especially to them. Candy, cards and flowers are always a nice treat, but if you know your wife is working hard to lose weight, swing by the yogurt store and bring home some fat free frozen yogurt in her favorite flavor. Or, buy her a romantic nightgown or dress to hug her new shape. Just be sure the surprise is for her not you.
A great many people are verbal communicators. They need to speak and hear the words to feel loved. But unfortunately, romantic words are often replaced with the basic tasks and instructions to get us through the day. If you find you’re not telling your wife how much she means to you, find little ways to tell her. Whisper it to her at dinner. Leave a small handwritten note by her sink. Buy a card and put it on her windshield first thing the morning so she can start the day off with a lift and a smile.
Behind Closed Doors
Finally, keep the romance alive by acting out that romance in the bedroom (or any other room of the house.) Keep things lively and interesting. Take turns on the kind of evenings you have. If you like sex one way, and she likes it another, alternate activities and foreplay so that nobody feels slighted or left out.
Look at new activities together to find something that both of you agree would be fun to try. Then have a good time – sex shouldn’t be boring. Find ways to make it fresh and interesting, even if it means stepping outside of your comfort zone or giving in to just one more massage before the real action gets started.
When it comes to finding a job there are plenty of possibilities in which you can pursue to find the ultimate occupation. Looking for a job can be one of the most stressful times of your life, especially if you have monthly bills to pay for. This can eat up your hard earned savings or potentially take every cent you have. If you don’t have any money saved up it can force you to take out loans and credit cards which will incur interest and other fee’s making you build up unwanted debt.
A simple mistake of loosing your job or quitting before you have found an alternative method of revenue can bring more trouble then its worth. This is why it’s important to use every method available to get you back into work as soon as possible.
The first place you can look for a job is in your local job center, many of the newer job centers have computers with all the available jobs in your area so you log in with your details such as address, age and any other vital information. You then pick a selection of job categories which you are interested in and the computer searches through the database of jobs bringing up any that match your criteria. You can then print them off and contact them directly with your application, you should always apply for as many jobs as possible in order to increase your chances of getting one. It’s always best to apply for many jobs and turn them down, then to apply for one at a time and wait for a response before applying for your next one, this would make the process very time consuming and you could be waiting several months and still no have a job to show for it.
Another method which is becoming more popular in today’s world is finding jobs online, this give you the advantage of being able to search through available jobs in the comfort of your own home at your own leisure. Another benefit of this is that you can upload your CV and information based on your interests and hobbies to certain job sites and employers can search through people that match their criteria. Consider using a CV builder to fine-tune your CV to each job listing. The amount of exposure you get can be immense compared to any other method because there are many existing sites of such sort with new ones being published all the time.
You can search in your local paper and stores to find work as many people advertise just about everywhere if they require more staff. By checking papers everyday might give you another method of receiving a job. By asking around the bars and shops near to you has also gave many people a career, simply print a few copies of your CV off and hand it in to various shops you would be willing to work in.
If you have been trying to find a job and have had no luck then there are still options available for you, there are many agencies in which you can find locally or online in which you give them all your details and they find jobs you may be interested in based on the details they receive. They will take you right up to the interview stage and then it’s up to you to go the rest of the way. These agencies will take the payment from the company you’re working for and then pay you either weekly or monthly after they have deducted a fee.
In the end it’s always best to take advantage of as many different methods as possible, the worst that can happen is that you have to apply for more jobs. Finding a job can be a time consuming job in itself and you have to stick to it and maybe lower your expectations just to find a job which will allow you to have some free cash to play with. On the other hand you may get interviews from a few places, take them and then pick the best job or the one with the most promising prospects in the future. It all depends if you’re looking for a job to help time go by or if you’re looking for a new career.
Stress is a nasty burden that can come into your life uninvited and wreak havoc. Stress has been tied to any number of conditions including hypertension and obesity from stress related eating. If you’re dealing with stress and would like to reduce it, here’s how.
The first step to reduce stress is to find the items that are actually causing the problem. What makes you stress – your in-laws? A dirty house? Bills? Only when you understand what is causing the problem can you work on resolving it. Spend time charting your stress. Every time you feel tension and stress, make a note on a running list as to what caused it. Even when you begin dealing with stressors, keep track as this will help you reduce stress in the future as well.
If you have unresolved issues causing you stress such as credit card debt, broken relationships or a list of things you need to do that you can’t seem to start, take a day off work and make a list of things to actually accomplish. Call your banker to get started on a debt consolidation loan or set up payments so that you can pay off the debt on your own.
Make some phone calls to help mend broken fences or have a picture burning ceremony to finalize a break-up. Pull out that list of things to do and make a goal to accomplish at least three of them. Then, once you get rolling, you’ll likely feel so good, you’ll just keep going until your life is back in shape again.
Organize and Simplify
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to eliminate chaos. Organize and simplify your life. If you hate climbing out of bed to turn off the lights, a simple device such as the Clapper Plus can eliminate that annoyance. Desk organizers can help you find stamps, batteries and rubber bands when you need them. A coat and key rack can eliminate the five minutes of stress every morning while you search for your keys.
Beat Stress the Natural Way
Finally, when you have your life back under control and you’ve simplified your surroundings, you can work to actively reduce the remaining stress. You may find that just cleaning out cabinets is enough to help you relax again, but you should set up a regular fitness and nutrition program.
Exercise, even walking, has been shown time and time again to help reduce stress. Take your pet or child on a walk in the evenings to get some fresh air, exercise and time together. All three of those things will help to eliminate crippling stress.
A pregnancy is an exciting time. But many fail to realize that preparing for pregnancy is as important as actual conception. If you’re ready to become a parent, here’s how to plan your pregnancy.
Prepare the Body For Pregnancy
The woman’s body should be as prepared as possible for pregnancy. She should stop taking birth control pills or remove any other chemical or hormonal birth control devices well before starting work on conception to give her hormones a chance to stabilize. This also gives the body time to clear away any lingering chemicals.
The mother should be at a healthy weight for her size for an easier conception and to ensure fewer complications during pregnancy and delivery. Regular exercise is good during pregnancy, so it is wise to be in the habit prior to conception.
The prospective mother should also begin taking prenatal vitamins before conception. The first few weeks of a pregnancy are when these extra vitamins and minerals are most important, but often a woman doesn’t experience pregnancy symptoms until five or six weeks into the pregnancy.
Prepare the Home For Pregnancy
Is there space for a baby and all the large items that come with it? It is far easier to move before pregnancy than during it to avoid stain and stress on the pregnant mother.
Prepare the Finances For Pregnancy
Babies are expensive. While there is no perfect time to become pregnant, if you are facing financial difficulties, can’t pay your existing bills or foresee financial difficulties you might be better waiting until you are in a comfortable or stable position before conceiving.
Prepare the Mind For Pregnancy
You should be in a steady place in your mind. A baby should not be a solution to any problems or a method to save a relationship. Both partners should agree to try for the baby before stopping birth control.
Timing of Conception
Once you are prepared, the trying can begin. This should be a joyful time, not stressful. While it is hard to wait, most couples take more than one or two months to become pregnant. If you are looking for a specific time of delivery, for example the spring, get started a bit early to give yourself some time for false starts.
While every woman is different and every lifestyle is different, fertility begins to wane earlier than most women realize. In your twenties you have an 80% or higher chance of getting pregnant easily. By your early thirties your odds have dropped to 60%, and by thirty-five you have only a 50% chance of easily becoming pregnant.
Boosting Your Chances To Get Pregnant
To boost your chances of becoming pregnant each cycle, you can monitor for ovulation using basal readings or an ovulation predictor kit. You also are more likely to conceive if you are at a healthy weight, are active, are not overly stressed and eat a healthy and balanced diet.
You should ideally have sex the exact moment your body releases an egg. Since most women have no idea when this is occurring, you can chart your ovulation using a kit or your temperature to get an idea of when you should be having sex. At the very least, you should be having sex every two or three days to ensure there are sperm ready and waiting for the egg whenever it releases. (Sperm can live up to five or more days.)
The introduction of automatic bill pay has simplified countless lives. Now routine payments such as mortgages and credit cards can be set up and left to run on their own without taking the time or effort to write a check every month. And the best part of all, most banks now offer free online bill pay, so you’re effectively saving the value of all those stamps by paying monthly bills online.
Set up an Online Bank Account
To pay bills online, you must have a bank account that is linked to an online account. The easiest way to pay monthly bills online is to work with your own bank to set up payments rather than use a third party bill pay source. If you already have a bank account with an established bank, ask about accessing your account online and the availability of bill pay services. Once you have online access, provided your bank offers bill pay, you should be set to begin paying monthly bills online.
Organize Your Bills
If you normally pay bills as they come through the door, you need to add a new step to your regime for a month. Rather than pay that bill using a check, set up an account for the payee online in your new bill pay account. Entering the payee will take a few minutes, but you won’t have to do it again after they are set up in the system.
Set Up Payments
Once the payee is added, set up the payment. If this particular payee is an installment loan or balanced billing, there is no reason to not set up a repeating payment. A repeating payment means the same amount is going to the same payee at the same time every week, month, or even year. Mortgages, minimum credit card payments, car loans, cable bills, cell phone bills, phone bills, student loan payments and more can all be set up as repeating payments.
Once the repeating payment is set up correctly to leave the account on the correct day every month, you don’t have to worry about that payment again. It will automatically be paid every month whether you take the time to login to your online bank account or not.
Other payments, such as the water bill or gas are harder to set up as repeating payments. If your service provider offers uniform billing, you can take advantage of that to set up repeating payments, or just set up a new payment every month when those few bills come.
Check Your Account
It is important, of course, to be sure you have money in your account for when the bills automatically are paid. You can pad your account with a bit of savings to avoid going negative if a bill leaves before your paycheck arrives, or you can time all the bills to leave at a certain time following the arrival and deposit of your paycheck.
Then, you can sit back and relax knowing your money is being direct deposited into your account then sent out to pay your bills all without having to pick up a pen or dig out another stamp – ever.
If you realize that you are in desperate need of a budget to control wild spending, take time to create one properly. Do your research to determine the amount you should be spending on various bills and items, and distribute your cash to meet those goals. Then, once the budget is set up, you can begin the truly hard work as you learn to live within your budget.
The first step for many people who are looking to live within a budget is to reduce payments. Your home is most likely your largest payment and you may be able to reduce your mortgage payment if you refinance or decide remortgages are applicable and helpful in your situation.
Seriously consider refinancing if you would be able to reduce your payments and plan on staying in the house long enough to recoup the cost of the new loan.
You might also consider selling an expensive car or trading it in for something less expensive if you are not upside down on payments. See if there is a way to raise your deductible to reduce your insurance payments, and limit or remove perks such as cable and cell phones if you find they are costing you more than they are worth.
Once you’ve cut as many payments as possible, you must begin to focus on spending your money wisely. More money than most people realize is spent on extras and splurges throughout the month. So rather than use a debit card or credit card to buy a little something new or pay for dinner and movie, pull that budgeted money out in cash in the beginning of the month. Use it to pay for your frivolous purchases (which you should never give up completely), and when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Make lists to reduce the amount you spend at the grocery store. Plan meals by the day and schedule the nights you’ll be getting take out or going out to eat. Then buy only the ingredients for the meals and possibly a few snacks. You may find that avoiding random items in the grocery store helps trim your tummy fat in addition to your spending.
Save Your Money
Be sure you are creating a savings account as part of your new budget. In fact, create two. One should be for long-term goals such as additional retirement savings, college funds, and large trips or purchases. The other should be savings for all of those things that seem to pop up over time. By saving a small amount every month, you will be able to pay cash for a new water heater or to fix a leaky roof. That will help keep the rest of your spending consistent with your budget.
When you realize that your bills are overwhelming you and your minimum payments are getting to be too much to bear, many immediately think of declaring bankruptcy. This may seem like an easy out, but in actuality is a decision that can affect your life in a far more negative way than by simply paying off what you owe.
But if paying off what you own is virtually impossible in your current situation and you can’t find another source of income to bridge the gap, consider debt settlement or credit card debt consolidation help. To consolidate debt you need to follow these steps.
Find Your Debt
Before you can do anything else, you must find all of the debt you owe to others. Make a list of the credit cards you have, the balances, the minimum payments and the interest rates. Be sure to find all of the credit cards including gas cards and department store credit cards.
Add It All Up
When you’ve assembled everything, your next step is to see exactly how much you owe and how much you’re currently paying every month. The number will most likely be shocking, but that’s okay – this is exactly what you’re trying to fix. When you know how much you’re currently paying and who you’re paying it to, you can move on to the next step.
Create a Budget
Paying the minimum payments on credit card debt isn’t enough to ever really clear the debt completely, but you should know if it’s even possible for you. Create a budget of all of your monthly bills. Be sure to include:
- mortgage or rent
- car payment
- insurance (life, car, home, renters, etc..)
- maintenance costs for your home and car
- student loans
- other spending
Then add in all the minimum credit card payments you’re making every month. Subtract the total from your paycheck – is there anything left? That money goes immediately to paying more on your debt. But if you are currently spending more than you’re making, and there isn’t anything you can cut such as cable, spending or clothing, you need the help of a professional.
Work with a Professional
Much of what a professional does you can do yourself. A professional debt counselor will help you understand how your payments are currently affecting your debt and look for ways to make a bigger dent in the debt without hurting your credit score. If there is no other choice, that professional will negotiate on your behalf with the credit card companies to reduce what you owe or lower the interest rates so that your payment has a bigger impact.
He may also help you find ways to consolidate your debt. Consolidating your debt means you find a single instrument to pay off all your loans and credit cards and then you simply pay on the single loan. This can actually improve your credit if you qualify for a good loan program.
A debt consolidation loan can be a secured loan such as a home equity loan or an unsecured personal line of credit or other type of loan. Be sure to understand the details of the loan and work only with a lender and professional you trust. A quality professional can help you reduce your debt amount, then find a suitable loan to cover all of the outstanding amounts.
Once your debt is consolidated, each payment will make a large impact on the bottom line and before you know it, you’ll be living debt free.
It can be depressing to think about, but every adult should spend time planning and preparing their estate. When you are ready, here’s how to plan your estate.
Retirement planning and estate planning overlap, but are not necessarily the same thing. Your estate is the bulk of your assets when you die. Presumably, those assets helped sustain you during your retirement. So when planning for retirement, you must also give some thought to your estate as well.
Assess Your Situation
The first place to start in estate planning is to assess your situation. How much money do you have in retirement funds? How much will you realistically be spending each year? Are you trying to retire early? Will your retirement funds be enough to last through the end of your retirement?
Tally up all of your assets. If your total net worth is over one million dollars, you should strongly consider a trust. Even if your total is less than one million, a trust will allow you to set conditions on how your money is distributed after your death. It also offers protection from government taxes.
Set up Your Will
If you do not already have a will in place, set one up immediately. This will save time and legal proceedings when you pass, even if you have no funds left in your retirement accounts. A will specifies who receives what from your estate. Speak with a lawyer or financial planner to have a will set up to maximize your estate.
Set up a Power of Attorney
You must also have a power of attorney to execute the will. Your power of attorney allows someone to act on your behalf, so it is necessary to have a power of attorney in place before you become incapacitated in any way.
Set up a Medical Power of Attorney and Living Will
You need to specify your plans for hospitalization and life support. You can set up a plan telling doctors to keep you on life support as long as humanly possible, or you can ask to not be resuscitated or kept alive solely by machines. A medical power of attorney or healthcare proxy will act on your behalf when you become unable to make your own medical decisions.
The government has powerful estate tax laws that are changing a bit now, but will solidify in a few years. This means that any estate over $1-3.5 million can be taxed at almost 50% by the government. It is important to set up a trust to protect the assets when you are gone, or you can begin distributing funds now to avoid the tax burden. You can currently give an individual $12,000 a year (or $24,000 if you’re married) tax free. You can also pay unlimited amounts of education and medical bills on behalf of someone else or set up charitable donations tax free.
Explain Your Plan
Finally, you need to explain your plan to your family. Be sure others have a copy of your documents and explain your desires and rationale. This will help avoid confusion or even conflict at the time of your passing.
For years it was almost impossible to find insurance that adequately covered preexisting conditions. This is no longer the case in the United States following the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which passed in 1997. Getting insurance with a current medical condition maybe easier than you think – in the United States at least.
Current Medical Conditions
According to HIPAA, a preexisting, or current, medical condition is anything that has been treated in the last six months. This does not include pregnancy or new babies. Those are not considered preexisting conditions at all and can not be subjected to wait periods. The only limitation an insurance agency can put on you (and your preexisting condition) is a twelve month waiting period before coverage for that treatment begins.
The Waiting Game
HIPPA also allows for your prior health insurance to be credited toward the twelve month waiting period provided you didn’t lapse in insurance for more than 62 days. This means that if you were diagnosed with an illness one year ago, but remained insured for that year, you no longer qualify for a waiting period and can begin new coverage immediately. An insurance company can not make you wait for treatment or deny you coverage based on that condition. This is true when going from one group plan to another, but things do become more complicated when a large insurance plan is not involved.
If you are leaving a job for any reason but being fired, you can use your COBRA rights to continue your current benefits until you find a new job, preferably one with group coverage. COBRA will offer you the same insurance you had at your prior position, even if you are laid off, so your treatments should be covered for up to three years. During that time, you can find a new position or with the conclusion of treatments, lose your preexisting condition status.
If you are entering a group policy without insurance for the prior 62 days, you may be put on a twelve month waiting period – at least for the specific condition. This may also be true if you are seeking independent insurance not bound by group policies or limitations. If this is your case, consider taking the following steps to find coverage:
- Get a clause in an insurance plan excluding the specific medical condition, but allowing for coverage of any other sort.
- See what plans your state offers for those who can not get medical insurance.
- Look into plans and treatment options at county or state run facilities.
- Find a group of other independents to join that have a medical plan. (i.e. Realtors, artists, etc…)
- Get a catastrophic plan which doesn’t cover doctor’s visits, but does cover emergency care and hospital bills.
- Speak with a Health Benefits Counselor about your best options.
- Appeal the refusal – especially if there are additional state laws protecting citizens with poor health, obesity, etc…
- Wait it out. Find a way to make ends meet until the waiting period is up, and then never let your insurance lapse more than 62 days.
For additional information on insurance outside the United States, visit: