Wednesday, June 20, 2007

$12--It's only $12--but. . .

Granted I'm not talking about a lot of money here. In fact, I'm only talking about $12--the "Fastpay" fee that Chase charges to make a same-day payment on one of their mortgages. But it's those niggling amounts that often get me the most annoyed.

My mortgage is due the first of each month. So long as payment is made by the 16th of each month, I'm not late. Being late would cost me $44.50 in additional fees, not to mention the effect on my credit score.

I get paid on the first and 15th of each month. Most of my bills are paid out of my first paycheck, while the second paycheck is reserved for the mortgage and 15 days' worth of daily expenses.

If I pay online, which is my preference, it takes two to three days for the withdrawal and the payment on the mortgage to be made. Therein lies my dilemma. If I don't get the timing exactly right, I wind up with bank charges--either the money comes out too early which causes my overdraft protection to kick in (which costs $10 plus a cash advance charge from my linked credit card) or the payment is made a day or so late, which has Chase charging me that $44.50 late fee.

Timing becomes even more complicated when the 16th falls on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

So the end result is that I often just call and use the Fastpay system on the 15th or 16th of each month--hence that $12.00 charge.

One solution would be to keep an extra $1400 in my checking account--which would be nice if I had an extra $1400. But the account, which I get for free as a "senior ," pays no interest. And there's the fact that even my emergency account, which does get 5% interest right now, has only $1000 in it.

Revamping my budget to pay the mortgage out of the first paycheck of the month is another possible solution, but that would require a major reworking of the pay dates on all my bills, which might or might not be feasible.

Sigh. Until I get better at the timing issue, it looks like I should just budget in that annoying $12!


NCN said...

Could you go to the mortgage company and just hand them a check on the 16th? What about asking them to move the due date to the 20th? Or, could you just pay mortgage out of check you get on the 1st? 12 bucks a pop sounds like a lot of money...
I wouldn't worry about the interest on your checking... 5% of 1400 is 70 (and that's if the money stays in the account for a solid, full year, and is never moved...) So, if you spend 12 a month to "make" 70, you're out 50 bucks! Plus, you have to pay taxes on the interest you make! I'd do everything I could think of to make sure that I didn't have to pay this fee..

Thanks so much for linking to my site...
(One more thought... I noticed that you are having 1K taken out for retirement each month... if you "skipped" doing this for two months so that you could get ahead by 2K in your checking account, wouldn't this solve the problem? just a thought..

(One more thing... I notice that you do not allow 'anonymous comments' on the site... you might want to change that so that non-blogger folks can leave comments... I'd love to comment more, but I have to login w/ my old blogger account, which then links to the wrong url...)

I'm Grace. said...

Thanks for the "comment" tip. I have changed the comment settings to allow for anonymous comments.

My mortgage company is on the east coast whereas I'm on the west coast. Paying in person is not feasible.

Neither is trying to pay the mortgage out of my paycheck on the first of each month.

But you have given me an idea that should work--if I add $500 to my $1000 emergency fund which is in a savings account, I can then make an online payment out of savings (and transfer the mortgage payment into that account on the 15th of each month. Should my online payment draw the money out sooner than the 15th, I'd still be covered. And, at most, my emergency savings would be in use only a day or two.

Ya know--some days I wonder what all that post-graduate education was about if I couldn't figure out something this simple without help. But thanks; I appreciate it.

Living Almost Large said...

Try to pay a month ahead, I think $1k is not a large enough EF to be honest.

I would up your EF, but that's me.

Anonymous said...

My mortgage is the same, due on the first and we get paid on the 5th of every month. I have all my other bills due at the end of the month... this way my second check on the 20th covers all bills due around the 27 or 28 giving me plenty of time for both. So all you need to do is use the 15th check for the first and the other check for your bills.