How Do OzBargainers Pay Their Bills?

Hey Ozbargainers,

I'm in the middle of helping my parents sort out their finances. Typical situation; multiple credit cards & bank accounts wth no real system for minimising debt.

My question is; How do you Ozbargainers pay your bills? In a literal sense. Is there an advantage (Frequent flyers etc) to perhaps having all bills linked to a CC and paying the balance off ASAP? Or would it be wiser to have all bills linked to a cash account and paying from there? Any tips or insight would be appreciated.

Thanks all.

Comments

  • +1

    pay the day or two before due

    • +1

      Apparently BPay is deemed to have been paid the day the payment was sent - not received - as long as it was sent on a business day.

      So I BPay on the due date if it falls on a business day.

      • +1

        BPay takes up to three days before it gets to the payee's account. So, depending on the company's policies, they may start chasing you up for a bill that you've already paid.

        • "Your financial institution and your Biller will acknowledge payments on the day you pay it, as long as:

          it's a Banking Business Day,^ and the payment is made before the cut-off time set by your financial institution (usually the end of their business day)."

          From https://www.bpay.com.au/Personal/Overview.aspx

        • A problem could arise if you needed that payment to clear in your cc so that you can actually use the credit card to fill it up with debt again.

        • @FoxJump: The biller cannot find out that the bill has been paid until up to three days after it is paid. Once the BPay transaction does hit the biller's account, however, it will be dated the day that it was paid.

          So, as I said, it depends on the biller's policies as to whether they start chasing you. In fact, some state something along the lines of:

          allow 1-3 business days from the payment date for the funds to be in creditors account

          Yes, that's going against the agreement they have with BPay, but the truth of the matter is that the biller has no way of knowing that the payer has paid the bill until the BPay transaction appears in their account, and it might not appear for up to three days after it is paid.

          You only have to do a quick search in Google to find people having problems because of this delay. Here's one example:

          I paid my rates 2 days early, but the BPAY funds did not arrive into the Council's account until the day after the rates discount period. I queried the 15% penalty and it was explained to me that it was my responsibility to ensure I paid in sufficient time for the funds to arrive in their bank account.

          Their interpretation of BPAY is that I had paid on time, however the discount is only if the funds are in their account by the closing (due) date

          In that particular case, the customer was able to negotiate with the council to remove the penalty, but surely you can see the problem.

        • @pjetson:
          Crikey! Thanks for the top tip! If there are any penalties or discounts to miss out I'll be sure to not be tardy.

          Thank you

  • +6

    All my bills are auto debited from cc if there are no fees for that. Otherwise off savings account.

    Cc bill is scheduled to be paid from savings on the due date via BPay if it falls on a business day.

    • Yep this is what I do. Even credit cards are set up to automatically be paid from savings account (via direct debit).

      Pretty much set and forget. I don't have many bills though.

    • Nb where savings account is actually offset account

  • +6

    Minimise the bills and pay reluctantly.

  • We have an account specific for bills/direct debits (NAB, no fees). When I get paid (monthly) I put enough money in there to cover all the direct debits for the month, plus I have set up to auto pay some of our water ($50), gas ($20), elec ($100) and tolls ($40) bills each month in advance so when the actual bill comes in the amount payable isn't too high.

    Bigger ticket items like council rates, regos etc. money is put on the mortgage for redraw only when they come due.

    We have a fixed budget of $300 per week spending money for groceries, eating out, whatever we want.

    Whatever is left after these pays off the credit cards/towards mortgage. Note, we only have credit cards due to medical issues last year, will be getting rid of them quick smart. Reduce the limit every time a payment is made - can usually go down by $100 increments.

    • If you have redraw, paying credit card off completely from there would save on crazy credit card interest?
      Unless you have transfer balance to a 0% interest credit card offer for 12mths and slowly paying off.

  • +7

    I have a basic setup, but I understand that for some this would be complicated:

    • Water (South East Water) and Rates (City of Casey) bills I pay via PostBillPay, go through PayPal and use my AmEx Explorer Card. Both Water and Rates don't accept AmEx directly, so this is a workaround.

    • Gas (AGL) bills are paid via Direct Debit, which is a PayPal authorisation that's linked to my Explorer.

    • Electricity bills are paid directly to my retailer, using my Explorer again of course. Bonus is that the Explorer doesn't give a reduced points earn on utilities!

    • Any fuel or supermarket "bills" I put through my AmEx Platinum Edge.

    • Once a month for my Explorer, and another time in the month for my Platinum Edge, I have their relevant bills due. As soon as I get an email saying my statement is ready, I download that, make sure all is fine, then schedule a payment within my AmEx online account for them to be paid in full on the due date (even if it's a weekend/public holiday). Bonus is that they usually pull out the money on the following business day. The bank account details that I have in my AmEx account is my Home Loan Offset account, so basically in a month's time, I have my salary come in twice, mortgage repayments go out twice and three credit card payments (AmEx Explorer, AmEx Platinum Edge and Coles Rewards MasterCard).

    • This way, I'm holding on to my money in the Offset for the maximum time possible and saving ever-so-slightly-more on the crazy thing that is the Home Loan.

    • Wow, thanks for the water/rates workaround!

      • In regards to Paypal via postbillpay, I have a Coles Mastercard Rewards that recently excluded government payments like AP for points. Unfortunately after 3 weeks I still haven't received points. :(

        • +1

          But the thing is, when you do it via PayPal, the "merchant" is PayPal so the spend should be counted as "General Spend" (2 flybuys per dollar) rather than "Government Spend" which doesn't earn points. So unless they have a way of looking into the fine details of a PayPal purchase, you should get your 2 points per dollar.

        • @MathNerd:

          Was disappointed to read the reply from Citibank, the new Coles Credit card provider, who said that it was no longer eligible since it was 'government related'.

          We note that the transaction in not eligible to earn points as this is
          classified as Government Services–Not Elsewhere Classified.

          For your reference, Eligible Transaction means any purchase excluding
          (but not limited to) government related transactions. Government
          related transactions include transactions with government or semi
          government entities, or relating to services provided by or in
          connection with government (for example but not limited to transactions
          made at Australia Post, payments to the Australian Taxation Office,
          council rates, motor registries, tolls, parking stations and meters,
          fares on public transport, fines and court related costs).

          Please note that whether or not a transaction is an Eligible Transaction
          will be determined based on information provided either by the merchant
          or the relevant financial institution (including information about the
          type of business conducted by the merchant). This means that, for
          example, spend with certain merchants may be characterised as spend with
          a government related entity and therefore not an Eligible Transaction,
          even if that merchant is not in fact a government related entity.

    • +1

      Username checks out. Bravo!!

    • Is it possible to set a scheduled payment on PostBillPay - i.e. I want to setup the payment to go through in 2 weeks time for example.

      • +1

        No that's not possible. It's an entirely manual process.

        • Why PostBillPay? and not just normal BPay. Are there benefits?

          Also is SouthEast Water goverment body? I didn't think

    • +1

      I do the same but all with the one AMEX Explorer. Gas and Electricity through Simply energy can be paid on AMEX through their website using Paypal as they dont do AMEX direct.

    • Do you pay your credit cards off with bpay?

    • Do you get points on Govt Rates or regular?

  • They don't! ;-)
    Seriously, I use Bpay, DD or Visa. Always use Visa to pay Car Registration, not BPay, as Bpay takes a few days.

    • Always use Visa to pay Car Registration, not BPay, as Bpay takes a few days.

      Easy fix by paying few days before due.
      And I'm still trying to avoid the Card fees somehow!

  • On the due date - never earlier. I use a credit card with an interest free period so that the money sits in my offset account for as long as possible. I keep a printed copy of all my receipts in case anyone accuses me of paying late. Oh and I have never paid interest on the credit card otherwise it would just be self-defeating. If they won't take credit card (or the fee for paying by card is higher than the interest I would save) I get a bit sad and just pay via bpay from the offset account.

    • Why never earlier? Has anyone asked you to provide proof of receipt yet?

  • +1

    This is how my boring life works

    Bills are D/d from a visa debit account, I put 700 fortnight in it, it has a bal of 3k or so, it always has enough. If you have a mortgage make this from ur offset account. Never pay any c/c interest, or minimise it if you can. I just pad health insurance up front which saves 4 percent, it hurts the balance to do so, but it is done now. If a bill isn't auto d/d I just pay some time within the week before, not so concerned with paying the exact day to minimise interest.

    Every week I get a 200 egift card for wooolworths for 190. Fill up at local woolworths petrol station and get three milks for 6 bucks, to get more saving on fuel. I buy bulk items when cheap like shampoo, deodorant, razors, my garage looks like the non depsoable aisle of a shop. It saves you money though. I have enough dunny rolls and shampoo to last till Xmas.

    I use suncorp benefits to get coles, d jones egift cards when I need them, and they are instant.

    I am not interested in credit card points these days, to much hassle, and not that interested in flights anymore, but if it suits a person they are good.

    • and get three milks for 6 bucks, to get more saving on fuel.

      How does this work please..?

      • If you spend more than 5 bucks at a servo you receive extra 4c of 6 per litre of fuel

  • I have as many bills as possible lined directly to my credit card and then I just pay it off in full at the end of the month via direct debit.

    Benefits … flybuys points (in practical terms a 1% discount on everything that goes through the card via credit to spend at Coles), automated payments (no need for worrying about late payments), single statement at the end of the month.

    Downsides … the only downside I see is that I don't get to audit any bills before they're paid, although (a) I've never really encountered a problem in this regard and (b) the thought of paying every bill I get every month separately is just a nightmare.

    Speaking plainly, I just don't have the time to go through bills individually and it's the ones that can't be paid by some automated mechanism are the ones that cause me grief.

  • With difficulty

  • I pay my bills as soon as I receive them if they are ongoing services. This way I am 100% sure that I have not delayed any payments. If I was to terminate the service then I pay a few days before the due date and time my payments exactly so as to avoid any excessive charges. I also make sure that I call the bank if there is any direct debit arrangement so the last payment is not a surprise. If it is more, I would review the expense and then pay it on time.

    I use by BPay, Savings or Credit Card, preference in the order given. If there is a fee involved then I go with the cheapest option. I have never paid any bill over the counter. Don't really bother with rewards etc.