Friday, April 24, 2009

Financial Friday

You should see my entryway floor this morning -totally covered in paper. Mail and bills to be exact. I've spend the last 30 minutes on the floor there opening ... sorting ... moaning occasionally ... tossing ... and filing.

I don't do this often enough.

Anybody else have an aversion to dealing with their snail mail?

I was soooo happy years back when my bank began online bill pay where I could set everything up to automatically pay on time - what a time, sanity and late fee saver! They write and mail the checks for me and I don't even have to keep stamps at home anymore. Yay!

But the downside to that is I don't open my mail - the bills part - with any regularity anymore. I assume all is taken care of by my bank - and 95% of the time it is. But then there are the occasional notices about billing addresses being changed, or rate or schedule changes. And I miss those until they've already taken effect. Then it usually it costs me money, which is frustrating and not smart.

So I decided I will open any bills that come in during the week on Friday mornings. That should be frequently enough. How often do you open your mail?

Guess what I discovered today? Evidently my utilities bill has been overpaid by $400!!! Now I clearly don't owe them money or late fees, but that's $400 that I've loaned to them unknowingly, interest free, for 2 or more months! I'm heading off to call them now and find out the deal.

For those of you who know me well enough to know I'm forever cutting myself somehow - I did get a big paper-cut across my thumb opening the mail today. Maybe that's the real reason I don't open mail daily or weekly. I need one of these!

Then again, I'd probably hurt myself with that too. Sigh.

So, here's to getting more intentional about managing my finances.

Want to join me? I'll post some easy-to-do tips here occasionally on Fridays.

Meanwhile - go open your mail and tell us if you discover anything surprising!


  1. Yep, i have a tendency to let my mail pile up too. Its taking over the corner of the kitchen counter.

    i used to have a letter opener ... where did I put that... maybe its under all that mail.

  2. Please don't let this make you feel bad but I was a secretary for 30 some years so I learned a few things during that time. I was the one to open the mail every day. I got in the habit of doing it and also did it at home (still do). First I throw all the junk mail away and then I read the rest and then pay it and file it (I have all kinds of files). I'm also curious and keep hoping something really fantastic will come. Yesterday I got mail from SS telling me about the money I will get sometime in May. My husband got his today. Doing the mail every day is so much easier, but I also don't work anymore.
    Bless you Rachel,

  3. Rachel,

    I think that I have gotten so use to the internet as a way of sending mail and money, that I neglect the value of a good hand written letter or check.

    Last year my oldest son was in his first year of college. Not any college, military college (VMI).
    Every week I made it a point to send him a card, letter or small package. I sent the same bible verse with it as well. He really never said much about them but now and then a thank you.

    During the summer when I was going through some things I found every one of the cards bound together in the order they were sent. You could tell they were a bit worn, from having been held. I placed them back and never said anything.

    I wasn't as faithful this year with my mail. Last month I sent him a care package and a card signed by his brothers and I. As soon as he got it, I got a phone call with a big thank you and I love you. Oh, yeah I forgot to mention, there was some money in this one.

    Moral of the story: Snail mail is still around. You never know when you'll get money, so don't delay opening it up.


    P.S. The fact that you cut yourself a lot makes me rethink cooking lessons for you. tee hee
    Check your mail maybe your get some band aids.

  4. I ALWAYS open my snail mail at once, but then again, I don't get much snail mail anymore.

    Your article made me think, and I'm doubly thankful that I do open my snail mail all the time.

  5. I was just thinking about going through a big pile of snail mail this morning :)

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Kate :)

  6. Oh Rachel, you struck a nerve with this one. I used to be so GOOD with paperwork. Now when I come home from work the last thing I want to see is yet more paper! I had a wakeup call this weekend. I had to find my son's SAT registration (literally the LAST piece of paper in a six inch pile) and found several unpaid bills in the process. I, too, need to be more diligent with the snail mail. The idea that you are in the trenches with me is encouraging. With God, nothing is impossible - we CAN develop new habits!



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