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  • Paperless Statements

    I'm considering switching to paperless statements for my CC and bank statements. I'm struggling with the decision of not being able to file the paper statements away with all my other bills, statements, and important documents. Besides helping save paper and the environment, are there any other advantages to electronic billing that I'm overlooking?

    PS- Currently, there are no incentives being offered to go paperless.

  • #2
    I've resisted going to paperless statements. I guess I'm just old fashioned. I want to be able to sit and review the statement, make notes, highlight tax-related transactions, etc. So all that would happen is I'd end up printing out the statements every month at my expense instead of theirs. No thanks. I'll let them keep sending them to me.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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    • #3
      Interesting... I hate receiving paper statements. In fact, anytime I get one, I briefly look at it, immediately shred it, then go online and download the electronic version. I suppose going paperless was easy for me, because by the time I started getting monthly bank, CC, and other statements in '04, paperless options were already starting to become a common practice.

      Personally, I absolutely prefer paperless statements. I can keep records WAY easier in digital form than paper. I keep everything digitally, organize them by company, product (CC, banking, investing, etc), year, and name them by month. If I want to look at any of them, it takes seconds to pull it up and I can easily compare side by side, and even copy/paste into excel for more in-depth work. I just find record keeping to be so much easier to do digitally than to have filing cabinets full of financial records (my parents had these when I was growing up, and frequently vocalized the pain in the butt that it was). I even keep my taxes in digital format -- scan everything in (if you even did them hardcopy -- I've e-filed since '07), and it's done. Plus, digital records are easy to back up, so if my computer dies, I've got backed up copies of everything.

      The biggest objective benefits of paperless are obviously the environmental resource angle, and also some companies waive minimum balance or monthly fee requirements for going paperless (normally including both statements and direct deposit).
      "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kork13 View Post
        some companies waive minimum balance or monthly fee requirements for going paperless (normally including both statements and direct deposit).
        I did go paperless with a couple of companies who made it worth my while to do so. Vanguard waived fees. Verizon did the same. And I must admit, with Verizon and a couple of others, I find that I don't regularly or carefully review the bills the way I used to when I got paper bills. It just doesn't work for me.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


        • #5
          I go paperless for almost everything. I've saved tons of room. I have a home office and space is critical. The more I have in electronic form the more I like it. If it's something I need or want in paper form I'll print it but that's not common.

          I was a little uncomfortable with not having a statement in hand at first but I quickly realized I can view the same thing on my computer and I usually don't throughly read it all anyway. I wouldn't go back.
          "Those who can't remember the past are condemmed to repeat it".- George Santayana.

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          • #6
            It's ok to be old fashion and I understand where you are coming from. Over the past 10 years I don't think I ever look at my hard copies and end up shredding them.

            You can always make your notes on the statement, scan them onto your computer and shred them. That way you have your notes and could always print the hard copies if you ever wanted.

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            • #7
              Life online is much different than it used to be. I'm afraid I just remember too many times in the late 1990s when things would "disappear" online. A paper copy can't be erased or changed without it being apparent. You cannot prove what you do not have in hand.

              I go paperless when doing otherwise costs me money. However, I always keep a paper copy, which several times has saved me much time and money.

              As for paperless receipts for purchases in stores that will later be mailed to the customer? Not a chance.

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              • #8
                Another reason for paperless is privacy. Paper statements in the mail make for a nice way for someone to see where you do business, how much you have, account numbers, along with other information.

                I've been paperless for years and love it. Less mail, less paper, less to shred in a few years, less to recycle.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by photo View Post
                  Life online is much different than it used to be. I'm afraid I just remember too many times in the late 1990s when things would "disappear" online. A paper copy can't be erased or changed without it being apparent.
                  It's much different today. I've never had anything "disappear". You can always contact the company if your online statement doesn't come through for you but this is never an issue for me.
                  "Those who can't remember the past are condemmed to repeat it".- George Santayana.

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                  • #10
                    I go paperless everything if I can.

                    I don't like having excess papers around with my name on it especially if they have account numbers or offers to my name. It's a hassle to deal with. I prefer to scan my online transaction once every few months to verify that nothing looks unusual. I login to all the accounts in one quick sitting. I also find it easier to read a webpage than some of the paper statements which scrunch everything together to save on the company's paper costs.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by minnie1928 View Post
                      Another reason for paperless is privacy. Paper statements in the mail make for a nice way for someone to see where you do business, how much you have, account numbers, along with other information.
                      How so? Anything on the web is fair game for hackers. When we phone a cc company, for example, regardless of how we receive statements, every employee has access to our accounts.

                      Are you talking about the postal service losing our mail, which can fall into the wrong hands? The chance of that occurring, although very real, statistically is much less than transmitting all your private data through the net and receiving a virus.

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                      • #12
                        You always have the option to print your e-statements if you wanted to. I don't really see the need for paper statements because all they do is create clutter.

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                        • #13
                          I despise paper statements because of the clutter, not to mention the environmental impact. Personally, I go electronic on everything. But I also keep very good track of what my bills should be.

                          The Frugallery

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by photo View Post
                            How so? Anything on the web is fair game for hackers. When we phone a cc company, for example, regardless of how we receive statements, every employee has access to our accounts.

                            Are you talking about the postal service losing our mail, which can fall into the wrong hands? The chance of that occurring, although very real, statistically is much less than transmitting all your private data through the net and receiving a virus.
                            I'm talking someone going up and opening up your mail box and taking the envelope out. Not much hacking needed for that, pretty much anyone can do it. Very low tech and super easy.

                            On the other hand, companies spend BIG money to keep their data safe & secure. Companies don't want to see their names on the front of the paper as the lead story. Not to mention the lawsuits that would follow.

                            And not every employee has access to your account. Large companies are required to restrict who has access to the various components of their systems. A guy in the mail room has no need to have access to your account information. Customer service departments, Yes...obviously they would need it in order to answer your questions.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by minnie1928 View Post
                              I'm talking someone going up and opening up your mail box and taking the envelope out.
                              Does that happen often to you? It's always a possibility, but quite often people living in cities have to use keys to open their mailboxes.


                              On the other hand, companies spend BIG money to keep their data safe & secure.
                              It rarely makes big news, but US government websites have been hacked numerous times. Hackers had access to World War II veterans' social security numbers just awhile back. No matter how much money is spent, every system can be hacked. A month or two ago, I received an e-mail from some company (I think it was a bank) who said their security may have been compromised

                              The unfortunate fact is that, paper or paperless, we're all vulnerable. My personal preference is paper simply because I have something tangible for proof. But that's just my preference, and others have their own.

                              Let's hope those who say they're doing it for environmental concern are doing much more important things -- like consuming less in general, not driving cars, not using disposable diapers, and making other efforts that create a much larger impact than saving on a few pieces of paper.

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