There are three things that I’m mortally afraid of: dementors, my mum and the payment of bills.
Now, just to clarify, I’m not afraid of the humongous amounts I have to cough up every month.
Rather, it’s the totally irrational fear (editor’s note: it’s rational lah) of keying in the wrong number.
If you think I’m being real inane right now, let me just tell you a story. Warning: this one’s a real tearjerker, so prepare all your tissues.
One morning, my lovely and adorable mum had told me, “Hey, get your lazy butt off the couch and settle the bills for once in your whole miserable life!”
Being the innocent young man I was, I replied very nicely, “Yeah, yeah you old hag, mumble more. Once I get the dough and chicks, I’m moving out of this house, ya hear me?”
She looked at me, before walking into the kitchen. The sound of a knife scraping against woodwork can be heard.
“Sorry, Mum.” I laughed brightly. “I will get to it right away. I love you Mum. Saranghaeyo.”
Thereafter, I logged onto the Internet and searched for ways to settle my credit card bill, all the while mumbling under my breath.
“Where’s that damn button… oh there it is!”
Jubilant, I click on it, and I was directed to a page where I’m supposed to key in the account and payment details.
“Easy peasy,” I smirked.
The next day
I was just going to take a dump when a knife went somersaulting into an area one inch away from my neck.
“You useless piece of junk,” my mum roared. “I told you to pay your bills, didn’t I?”
“But I just paid yesterday!” I said defiantly.
“Oh yeah you did,” she yelled, brandishing an envelope in my face.
I gulped; it was a reminder letter from a bank.
I logged onto the Internet and searched for Payment History.
Amount credited to a different telco: $699.00
I looked at my mum and smiled. “Ehehehehehe,” I winked. “Nancypoo?”
Anyways, from then on, I became a devoted disciple of the Art of Bills.
And ala Bar Grills, I shall now pass on to you guys the hidden secrets to paying your bills correctly.
Which leads to the question: how do you pay your bills correctly?
How do you avoid making such a terrible, life-scarring mistake?
Well, I have just the solutions (credit to my near-fatal life experience).
10, to be exact.
1. Create a list before going to make payment
Don’t jump into the treacherous waters straightaway.
Create a list before making payments, so that you’ll know what to do and what not to do.
And double-check the account number. Heck, triple-check it if you have to.
2. Have an Excel file to keep track
Contrary to popular belief, Microsoft applications can actually be utilised in real-life situations.
And that Excel application, which you’ve gotten so sick of after using day in day out for all your auditing purposes, is excellent for keeping track of all your previous, concurrent and future payments.
Alternatively, you can also use Google Sheets.
I know this is Captain Obvious, but trust me: how many of you didn’t do it?
3. Look at Digits with the hyphen (-)
It’s easy to double-check on 123-567-789 than 123456789, as our brain cannot process more than four digits at one go due to our familiarity with 4D (I made that up)
Include the hyphen when you’re paying your bills, especially credit card bills. It’ll make checking much smoother.
4. Operation M
If you’re still getting it wrong after a million checks, there’s no other way:
It’s time to bring in the secret weapon.
As a matter of fact, this lethal possession has paid the bills so many times she has more or less become a black belt at it.
And while she’ll be kinda naggy, your mum’s definitely your best bet for a fail-safe all-bills-successfully-paid outing.
Just don’t let her do everything because that kind of defeats the purpose.
5. Scan the barcode
More often than not located at the bottom of a billing statement, these barcodes are fail-safe indicators.
With a multitude of barcode scanning apps on the App Store (iPhone) and Play store (Android), the process will still be smooth as silk.
If you’re paying your bills with machines like an AXS Station, it’s a breeze with the barcode.
6. Pay your bills all at one go
I understand that every single bill comes with different payment dates, but you can simply lock a date to pay all your bills because they usually have some leeway.
I would suggest putting the day on your payday, so you can enjoy the rest of the month without having to worry about your bills.
7. Make sure you write 4 and 9, or 6 and 0, correctly
If you’re going to pen down the digits on a piece of paper and make the payment at an AXS Station, make sure you write the digits 4 and 9, and 6 and 0, clearly.
Tell me, is that a 4 or a 9?
And this. Is this a 6 or a 0?
I know your time is precious so you write like a doctor, but hey: it takes only 0.1 seconds to get it right. Spend your time wisely and you’ll spend your money wisely.
8. Pay Your Bills with AXS e-Station
The best thing about paying your bills online is that no one would be “tsk-ing” behind you as you pay multiple bills.
Lest you’re not aware, this machine behind can be used right at home.
Simply click here and that machine will come to you.
Okay, not that extreme but you get the idea: it’s essentially an online AXS Station. Why queue when you can stream your Netflix shows while paying your Singtel bills?
9. Pay Your Bills with an App
There’s an app for everything, and that includes AXS.
AXS m-Station, an app that works like the machine, allows you to pay your bills right on your bed.
All you need are 5 simple steps:
Firstly, register your payment method in the app (the app will prompt you to create a passcode, to which you just have to follow through).
After that, browse to the main page.
Click on Bills under the Pay sub-header.
Select the category under which your bill creditor belongs. As an example, Telecommunication company M1 Limited would be under the General category.
After that, tap on the company you would like to make payment to.
Key in the respective account number and the amount you would like to transfer, and you’re all set!
Incidentally, there’s an ongoing promotion that offers you a shot at attractive prizes, every time you clear a $50 bill with your Mastercard!
One benefit of using the app is the function “My Payments”: think of it as your personal assistant who ensures that you pay the correct bills, and also save you time.
Firstly, it helps to save your account details automatically after your first payment, so you won’t need to key in the account numbers again when you pay your bills the next month.
Secondly, you can track all your payments – perfect for you to know how much you’ve paid to your telco for the entire year after adding in all the extra GBs (don’t lie, we know you always overuse your data).
Here, see how cool it looks (cool because we all hope our SP Group and phone bill are just $10 each):
And you won’t need to worry about your wife or girlfriend finding out how much you’ve spent from your credit card: to access the feature, you need a passcode. Pretty nifty if you’d ask me.
For more info, click here.
10. Never let the bills stack up
Forgetting to pay the bills for one or two months, while inadvisable, is still tolerable.
Forgetting to pay the bills for more than three months in a row, on the other hand, is just slipshod behaviour.
Apart from the fact that all the late payment charges are snowballing into a practical Abominable Snowman, you’re also making it harder for yourself to pay the bills correctly, with different account numbers jumping at you from everywhere.
You don’t want that infamous mail scene from Harry Potter to materialize in real life, do you?
Now that you’ve all but mastered the art of paying your bills correctly, you’re all set to face the cruel world of bills.
So strive on, and make us fellow bill-payers proud!
Remember the lucky draw mentioned earlier in AXS m-Station? Well, here’s when you can make paying bills a happy occasion.
AXS is having a promotion right now, where you can win all-expenses-paid trips to the likes of New York, Phuket, Maldives and Sydney!
You can click here (insert link of the don’t say bojio) for more details.
But if you just want a tl;dr version, here’s what you need to know:
- Pay bills with AXS e-Station or m-Station
- Pay with your Mastercard or Masterpass
- Ensure that you pay at least $50 (not that difficult, right?)
- You’ll stand a chance to win a trip to Maldives, Sydney or New York
So good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favour!