Ditching the Paper and Going Electronic
How to make your billing hyper efficient.
Keeping important paperwork organized is the best way to protect personal financial interests. An organized filing cabinet or safe is a great start. People are working more than ever, and may not have the time to keep up with these papers. Stacks of mail are easily pushed to the side when life is busy. Here are a few tips on how to be more organized.
Ditching the paper and going electronic with banking statements is important. Each month, a single checking, retirement, or savings account can generate several pieces of mail. Some of this mail is often overlooked and not opened. When these statements are thrown away, it presents a security issue. Personal information can easily be stolen and used to open new accounts or steal from existing accounts.
Shredding documents is not always enough to keep banking information secure. Crafty thieves can put these pieces of paper back together. Mail that is intercepted or delivered to an incorrect address can lead to identity theft. Once personal information is sold, thieves can piece together enough information to use a leverage in the future. Shared homes are increasingly common for working adults and those in retirement. Roommates may try to see if they can access accounts with information they have access to.
Update Personal Accounts
It only takes a few minutes per account to update contact details. Most institutions have an easy process for ditching the paper and going electronic. This may be as simple as logging into their website or app and requesting paperless statements. Going into the offices is also another way to change how correspondence is sent.
Sharing personal information with strangers is done every day when sensitive items reach the trash can. Many people do not want to share their health conditions with friends or certain family members. Keeping these documents laying around can lead to being confronted about personal medical information.
More medical centers and primary care doctors are going paperless. Requests for medication or reporting changes in condition are often done over the telephone. Paperless offices may now also accept requests online or with an app. Test results that are saved online or in secured electronic files can keep prying eyes away from traditional filing cabinets in the home.
Bills may go unpaid simply due to a paper copy of the monthly statement not arriving in time. It is easy to forget the due date for monthly recurring bills. Going paperless is one way to always have access to current amounts due. Setting up automatic payments is helpful but having access to the statements is also necessary to ensure the charges are accurate.
Electronic statements are a great way to eliminate late fees. Late fees accumulated over the course of a year can easily equal to a month of services for utilities. Late credit card payments can result in a higher interest rate and in some cases a lower credit score.
Having a backup copy of legal documents does not seem important, until it is required. Going digital with hard to replace documents is helpful when the original is destroyed. This does not have to be due to being irresponsible. Flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, or even fire can quickly wipe out these important documents.
Lawyers often will send digital copies of important decrees or judgements instead of providing a printed copy. Name changes, divorce decrees, child support, alimony, retirement, or civil judgements may need to be verified by a third party. Having the ability to quickly pull this information is important. These documents may be required to start a new job, prove an income, obtain an apartment, clear up a background check, or to change the name on accounts.
Using modern technology to manage personal information will save time. Taking steps each month to simply check on each account is one way to feel secure in the decision to change from sensitive paper documents. Use these tips when managing important financial, medical, and personal information.