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BY CATHY CARTER
When you juggle your mortgages, utility bills, and credit card payments every month, using online banking to pay them off makes a lot of sense. It is a service that your bank provides to organize your bills and pay them on-time from your checking account. Some credit unions and online bill-pay services also allow this convenience with a minimum charge.
The biggest advantage of online payments is to get rid of writing and mailing several checks every month to pay your dues. However, nearly 1/3rd of Americans above 65 still do not use this mode of payment. If you are also wary of online payments or banking systems, let’s look at their benefits, functioning, and processes to remove your doubts.
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Why Should You Opt for Online Bill Payments?
With online banking services, you can automate your financial transactions, and bill payments are no exception. If you have bills with the same amount to be paid each month, such as car loans or mortgages, you can set up a recurring payment system using the online bill-pay services of your bank or a credit union. Even for varying bill amounts, you can schedule payments ahead to avoid missed or late payment charges.
The core benefit of online payments is a guaranteed and timely service if you have sufficient funds. Instead of visiting separate websites for each payment or writing manual checks, you can sign in to the bank’s online portal and complete an automated process within minutes.
Most importantly, it adds an extra layer of security to your credit card payments, especially if you have a shortage of funds.
How Does Online Bill Payments Work?
The online bill payment system links back to your checking account for making immediate one-time payments, recurring payments, or future one-time payments. You can easily set up online bill-pay with your bank or a private service provider by logging on to its portal. Link on the bill-pay section on the website and choose the relevant link to add a payee and the recipient service provider’s name.
The process will run smoothly if you gather all your bills with specific account numbers and addresses. Input the information into your bank’s platform and schedule payments when they are due. You can also set reminders to track the due dates for each payment.
And if there is no electric way to make payments, the banks also arrange for printing the checks and mailing them on your behalf to the respective service provider once you consolidate your payments in the system.
How to Use the Bill-Pay Service Safely
When you choose your bank’s bill-pay system, stay cautious, and make the payment safely. Here are a few vital things to keep in mind.
Have Sufficient Funds in Your Account
Though the system of online banking and bill payment is pretty straightforward, it may sometimes make you forget proactive bill management. After setting up a recurring payment, you may forget about keeping your account sufficiently funded to seamlessly let the payments flow. It may result in penalties for late payments or missed bill payments. So, keep sufficient funds in your checking account every month to avoid any difficulties
Adopt Safe Internet Banking Practices
Many people are skeptical about using online financial services due to the scare of hacking, identity theft, and other cyber threats. Sometimes, financial transactions conducted online can expose you to the risks of security breaches. However, it shouldn’t stop you from availing yourself of this convenience.
You can minimize the risk by setting up strong passwords and using secured networks when signing into your bank’s portal. As a general practice, avoid online transactions like bill payments or fund transfers when working on public Wi-Fi networks.
Transparency is Significant
Sometimes, when you set up a manual bill payment system with a service provider, you may notice some discrepancies down the road. It happens when you send a check to the payee through the service provider and get your account debited even without the payee cashing out the check. This will not only affect your bank balance but also result in penalties for late payments.
The best way to avoid such instances is to work with the bank that follows high transparency levels in its services. You can mostly find a reliable bank that provides the date when the check will be cashed and add it to your payment history.
Check the Fee If Any
Avoid last-minute surprises when tallying your account every month by asking about any service charges applicable to the bill-pay service. Some transactions are mostly offered free by your bank, while it may charge a monthly or transaction fee for your account in some cases.
Remember, online bill payments come with several benefits. You need to budget your expenses and pay attention to your account balances to reap these advantages.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)
Social media is an umbrella term that encompasses all apps, websites, and blogs that allow people from all over the world to interact through the internet. Anyone who wishes to use any social media platform must first sign up and then sign in to view content and communicate with other members of that social media platform. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and Snapchat are commonly used social media platforms. Social media, like all technological advancements, has both advantages and disadvantages.
Social media has become an essential aspect of life for many youths in today's society. Numerous young people carry on involving themselves with social media without even bothering to consider its effect on them. The consequences may be both good and bad at times. When it comes to the negative impact of social media on teenagers, the majority of the time, they are unfavourable if the activity is not linked with a commercial or professional objective.
Social media has taken on such significance in today's society that it has overtaken other concerns. | Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash
Social media has taken on such significance in today's society that it has overtaken other concerns. People, especially teens, are addicted to social media and have lost sight of the essential things in their lives like family, friends, physical activities, social interaction, sports, education and much more.
One manner in which social media harms our mental health is through the use of unfavourable social comparisons. Teenagers or even grown-ups who use social media spend a significant amount of time examining the lives and activities of their friends. Continuous comparisons lead to low self-esteem and negative body image in adolescents, increasing depression and anxiety in such people; this includes stalking their achievements, events, their pictures or the events they have attended. On comparing, it makes oneself feel worse about their life.
Teenagers or even grown-ups who use social media spend a significant amount of time examining the lives and activities of their friends. | Photo by Ángel López on Unsplash
We can only see the virtual aspect of a person while we are on social media sites. This means that we can only see the side of the situation that they want us to see. Many people make an effort to present themselves in a way that they are not. Bullying among peers is a common practice, which is acceptable to a certain level. However, when it comes to cyberbullying, it has a significant impact on a person's mental health, as the comments or posts may appear on the newsfeed of any individual and spread quickly. Depression and suicidal behaviour can occur as a result of such things.
Particular teenagers are highly prone to be manipulated. Such teenagers may feel the urge to alter their physical appearance as they begin to compare themselves with every other person they come across on social media. This can result in low-self esteem; also, there is a tremendous temptation to overindulge on social media. Hence, it can become an addiction for adolescents and cause them to get distracted, as already mentioned.
Several studies have found that excessive social media use is frequently associated with underlying problems such as depression, chronic stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem. | Photo by AH NP on Unsplash
Several studies have found that excessive social media use is frequently associated with underlying problems such as depression, chronic stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem. Hence, it becomes a social responsibility for us to keep a check on our and our friends' mental well-being by unplugging our devices, building solid friendships and beginning the search to find our true inner self by meditation, exploring nature and organizing offline get together.
Keywords: negative, unfavourable, friends, depression, teenagers, people, social, mental health
During festivals like Diwali, one shouldn't only pay pay attention to dressing up, shopping and meeting family members; an integral part of festivities includes cleaning and decorating our homes, neighbourhood and spreading joy. But while anybody can clean their homes, designing new spaces can be a tad bit cumbersome. With a restricted budget and high-priced decor products in the market, everyone is always looking out for new ideas that are both cost-effective and can transform your home to welcome Maa Laxmi and the New Year. Don't worry though, the following five budget-friendly ways shared by Niraj Johri, founder & CEO at Casa Decor, help you decorate your home in a manner that makes it unforgettable.
Adding metal accents
Adding brass, silver, or copper accessories in the tiny little spaces inside your home can elevate its overall design aesthetics. Metals are the epitome of elegance and luxury -- they can be moulded to lend an eccentric and dynamic fusion of colours. Due to their unpredictable nature, artisans can find numerous ways in which they can help accentuate every corner in your home.
Folded into intricate forms with beautiful solid colours, metals are an undeniably fascinating material to use in home decor. In fact, they are known for their polished and refined looks that bring together edgy, contemporary, and Victorian styles to the forefront. Such designs can usually be found in handcrafted decor pieces such as metal trays that are perfect centrepieces on wooden tables.
Adding brass, silver, or copper accessories in the tiny little spaces inside your home can elevate its overall design aesthetics. | Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Flowers, flowers everywhere!
This Diwali one should endeavor to shift to organic decor pieces that make use of fresh flowers elevate spaces like doorways, balconies, stairs, or even put them in vases and let the flowers be the centre of attention. Houseplants and flowers not only brighten your surroundings but also boost your mood immediately. Since Diwali calls for parties at home, flowers can function as a catalyst for good vibes.
You can also make use of metal planters enchanted by unexpected colors and veins. Through their unique characteristics and diverse sets of textures, metal planters enable the preservation of charm and value unique to Indian handicraft traditions and cultures.
Since Diwali calls for parties at home, flowers can function as a catalyst for good vibes. | Photo by Roberta Sorge on Unsplash
Light lights! Tea lights
Tea lights are perhaps best used when they are placed inside intricately handcrafted ceramic casings that combine various traditional techniques practised through time. Each piece exudes a sense of muted culture that find a new life in the nuances of the design work.
Each piece exudes a sense of muted culture that find a new life in the nuances of the design work. | Photo by Sven Hornburg on Unsplash
How about some lanterns?
Lanterns with fairy lights is a very popular idea that can be found in most households today. All you must do is fill the jar with fairy lights and hang them in any corner of a room. They offer an inspiring firefly effect that lends a unique and inimitable look to spaces within homes.
Lanterns offer an inspiring firefly effect that lends a unique and inimitable look to spaces within homes. | Photo by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash
Mirror Mirror on the wall
Wall mirrors are another way of adding an aesthetic and elegant touch to homes. One can add different sizes of mirrors on empty walls and change the look of the entire area. A classic mirror will add richness to your home and function as a reflective piece to shed light in each corner. (IANS/ MBI)
Wall mirrors are another way of adding an aesthetic and elegant touch to homes. | Photo by Tuva Mathilde Løland on Unsplash
Following a huge growth in his personal fortune, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has renewed his promise to "extend life to Mars". According to The Star, Musk's wealth has swelled to an astonishing $230 billion. Or a whopping 861 billion Dodgecoin, a cryptocurrency backed by the entrepreneur after he was reported to have invested millions.
Musk is now richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined, both individuals who had previously held the rich list title. "Elon Musk (with a net worth equal to 861 billion #Dogecoin) is now richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett COMBINED!" popular crypto YouTuber Matt Wallace's tweeted.
To which Musk said: "Hopefully enough to extend life to Mars". "Have no doubt you will make it happen," Wallace responded. CEO investments, the creators of Dogecoin, also responded backing Musk's plans every step of the way. The SpaceX Mars programme was initiated by Musk to colonize Mars after he first conceptualized the project back in 2001. SpaceX's aspirational goal has been to land the first humans on Mars by 2024, but in October 2020 Musk named 2024 as the goal for an uncrewed mission. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: investments, combined, SpaceX, billion, Elon musk, tesla