Author Topic: Why fear the mail?  (Read 7254 times)

dusty

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 115
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Sydney / NFA
Why fear the mail?
« on: July 05, 2014, 12:58:05 AM »
Standing around at work the other day, somebody made a passing comment about how disappointing receiving mail has become because all it brings is junk.  Another person chimed in and commented that they hated finding mail in the mailbox as it was usually only bills, to which everyone around me agreed. i immediately piped up and asked "what about those dividend checks?......"   

Everyone went quiet and looked at me weirdly then the conversation moved on to a different topic.

shuffler

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2014, 01:16:09 AM »
I'd look at you weirdly too.  Who gets checks in the mail these days?  ;^)

dusty

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 115
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Sydney / NFA
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2014, 01:18:37 AM »
That's how things work out here in the colonies + I haven't worked out how to have dividends automatically deposited into my bank account from my new investment account. Working on it

Gremlin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 130
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2014, 01:33:51 AM »
I'm an Aussie too...

I wouldn't know how to set up my share div payments to receive cheques in the mail.  All of mine are by EFT. 

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6315
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2014, 05:11:08 AM »
I love bills, gives me a chance to see how much I can save each quarter by cutting electricity/gas etc.

Also when I pay it, I get some obscene sense of joy in not having to pay it for another 3 months, or year or whatever.

BubbaMc

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2014, 06:37:22 AM »
I love bills too, because if they're less than the amount I had budgeted, I can reassign that money to savings.

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4548
  • Age: 11
  • Location: USA
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2014, 07:05:46 AM »
I get nothing but bad news in the mail:

- cable offers coming in every two weeks like clockwork (we noticed you only have internet! upgrade to this TV package for only $69.99 for the first 12 months!)
- government notices and tax bills
- local coupon junk for shitty pizza and other toxic food
- lawyers asking if I've been injured at work recently

All the regular bills all electronic, save the trees yo.

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4834
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2014, 10:20:00 AM »
My side hustle client pays only by paper check. I've taken to billing them bimonthly just to cut down on the paper (they're annoying about waiting until the last minute and then expecting me to get things done fast, but they're entirely reliable about paying up).


I do still get several bills in the mail; local utilities aren't available online out here in the sticks. I also just put cellular back on paper; if AT&T won't actually send an electronic bill, they can just pay for a stamp. We haven't gotten our push ebill as we are supposed to in months; I've had to call or log in to their website at about bill time every month to check.


Other than that, mail is mostly crap, but we do get a limited amount of crap, mostly the advertisement circulars that go to everyone in the area and the occasional offer for a personal loan at usurious rates. That's one advantage of a post office box; junk mail never even leaves the post office -- straight to the trash can there.


Oh, I did get an unpleasant bit of mail recently; apparently one of our land parcels, the unbuildable one, mysteriously doubled in value this year so that the county can collect more taxes. It looks like my appeal won't be a problem, though, and talking to the folks in the office to set up the appeal has clarified how to get a conservation easement on our whole property, both parcels, so it's a win for us (and the trees) and a big loss for the tax man.


The point is to manage the bills and the mail rather than letting them manage you. How to do that depends on your circumstances.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6257
  • Location: BC
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2014, 12:50:20 PM »
I love bills, gives me a chance to see how much I can save each quarter by cutting electricity/gas etc.

Also when I pay it, I get some obscene sense of joy in not having to pay it for another 3 months, or year or whatever.

+1.  Is it weird to love getting bills?  Me too.

robotclown

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2014, 03:15:47 PM »
All my bills are paperless now.  And most give me a small discount for doing everything online.  Then my bills get auto-payed by my credit card, which gets auto-payed by my bank account, and then I get cash back.  I just glance at them to make sure I didn't get overcharged for something, and then forget about it.

Getting dividend checks in the mail would be exhausting, I think.  Cashing 100 checks a year?  I mean, I would do it if there was no other options.

Mississippi Mudstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2158
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Danielsville, GA
    • A Riving Home - Ramblings of a Recusant Woodworker
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2014, 05:50:39 PM »
I love bills, gives me a chance to see how much I can save each quarter by cutting electricity/gas etc.

Also when I pay it, I get some obscene sense of joy in not having to pay it for another 3 months, or year or whatever.

+1.  Is it weird to love getting bills?  Me too.

I enjoy getting bills, too. I like the period each month after all the bills have been paid and the remainder of the money that comes in tha month goes to the stash. I get annoyed when the bills come in late. But only a few bills (water, life insurance) still come by snail mail.  I get more checks in the mail than bills.

agent_clone

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 252
  • Location: Australia
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2014, 06:51:24 PM »
I'm an Aussie too...

I wouldn't know how to set up my share div payments to receive cheques in the mail.  All of mine are by EFT.
I would agree with you on this one.
That's how things work out here in the colonies + I haven't worked out how to have dividends automatically deposited into my bank account from my new investment account. Working on it
For me the online broker account I went with when I purchased shares sent information off via CHESS to the place I bought stocks with essentially telling it to put it in my bank account.
The places I bought shares with also do something through http://www.computershare.com/au/Pages/default.aspx which has a variety of settings (such as dividend reinvestment and choosing what I want to receive via email or snail mail).
Otherwise contact the companies you bought shares with and tell them to deposit it into your bank account.

The Hamster

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 203
  • Location: Perth WA
  • Vivere intus vestri mediis
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2014, 04:43:49 PM »
Can I ask why you guys are not dividend re-investing?  I have always read that unless you are in "retirement" phase you should always reinvest the dividends (if allowed) to boost your portfolio. 

deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8578
  • Location: Australia or another awesome area
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2014, 05:09:56 PM »
Can I ask why you guys are not dividend re-investing?  I have always read that unless you are in "retirement" phase you should always reinvest the dividends (if allowed) to boost your portfolio. 
Depends upon your investment plan. Say you have 2 shares - Commonwealth Bank and BHP, and you want them split 50/50. As CBA pays more dividends, dividend reinvesting will gradually put this out of whack. Also, dividend reinvesting means you buy more shares every 6 months, so you have an enormous number of holdings to keep track of when you sell, as each has a different cost base. You may also think that you would get a better deal at a different time of the year. You may want to diversify. The company may not offer dividend re-investing every time.

Sure, dividend re-investing is a good option as you don't have brokerage fees, and the shares tend to be cheaper, but there are reasons not to.

socaso

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 511
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2014, 05:32:17 PM »
I enjoy getting the grocery store sale flyers every week and planning my menus around the best deals. It's very true that the only restaurants who solicit via the mail are pretty bad but for some reason I skim through those flyer before I recycle them.

Sunnymo

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 107
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2014, 06:41:05 PM »
I'm with Deborah on this one in relation to dividend reinvestment plans.

I would also add the following:
* DRPs means that you are buying those particular shares at a specific time and price.
*The shares throwing off the dividends may have been good value at the time of purchase and as a result are giving a great yield at the present time. But if you had to buy them now the price and yield available now may not fit with your investment needs/goals.

* My preferred way of reinvesting dividends is:
             - Take dividends in cash
             - accumulate the dividends in your home loan offset facility (or as advance payments in the loan itself) or in an online high  interest account. I track this so I know how much is sitting there.
             - When you have accumulated a preset amount go buy the shares that you want and suit your plans/investing profile.

This makes me practice discipline and I get the numerous benefits from parking the money in my loan offset. It also means that I am an active participant in my share investment program by tracking the funds accumulation and researching what to buy next rather than accepting the DRP shares.

MgoSam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3643
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2014, 08:53:48 PM »
For me, bills are good to get. Otherwise I might autopay them and miss them overbilling. Funny how they are rare to underbill....

I am starting to see the virtue in looking at all expenses because you can often spot ways to lower expenses or avoid mistakes. For instance last week I looked at my bill while checking out of my hotel. They charged for parking which was supposed to be included in my rate and I made sure to get them to waive it. Last year I stayed at another hotel that did charge for parking and it was a pain to get them to refund it by the phone, had to a manager for the company that arranged the deal to call them out and bitch them out for them to change it.

gooki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2376
  • Location: NZ
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2014, 01:12:35 AM »
Last year I stayed at another hotel that did charge for parking and it was a pain to get them to refund it by the phone, had to a manager for the company that arranged the deal to call them out and bitch them out for them to change it.

I find the magic words Credit Card Chargeback, to be extremely effective when sorting out overfilling remotely.

golden1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1544
  • Location: MA
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2014, 05:01:39 AM »
I had credit card debt for a few years between having young kids and going back to work.  I paid it all off shortly before finding this site last year.  I do remember having a few years of being afraid of the mail, just dreading seeing the credit card bills come in.  The best thing about living way below your means is the peace of mind that comes with forgetting all about that stuff.


Travis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2436
  • Location: Arizona
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2014, 05:41:22 AM »
Over 90% of my mail is junk.  The most annoying (but thankfully smallest by weight) are the mortgage refinancing offers.  I started getting them the week after I bought the house and still get them over 2 years after selling it (I used to get slammed with phone calls too).  All of my bills are automated, and until recently the only bill I got in the mail was my credit card statement to show I had a 0.00 balance.  I get an email from every company or billing agency that states what the bill will be usually 2-3 weeks before it's withdrawn.  I still get a magazine once a month my wife never reads (gift from a friend) and a newspaper I never read (paid for three years ago and letting it run out).  If I wanted to play the credit card rewards game I definitely know what my options are with all the offers I get.  Thankfully my recycle bin is on the way from the mail box to the door so I start with a bundle of items and end up only taking one or two inside.

Chaplin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
  • Location: Le Canada
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2014, 08:07:56 PM »
Don't fear the mail....
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
More cowbell!

(I apologize - every time I saw this topic this is what came to mind. I couldn't resist any longer.)

JamesAt15

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 200
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2014, 11:22:04 PM »
The seasons don't fear the postman...  nor do the wind, the sun or the rain...

Travis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2436
  • Location: Arizona
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2014, 02:23:19 AM »
Don't fear the mail....
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
More cowbell!

(I apologize - every time I saw this topic this is what came to mind. I couldn't resist any longer.)

I thought about that sketch as well.

agent_clone

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 252
  • Location: Australia
Re: Why fear the mail?
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2014, 03:33:23 AM »
Can I ask why you guys are not dividend re-investing?  I have always read that unless you are in "retirement" phase you should always reinvest the dividends (if allowed) to boost your portfolio. 
Depends upon your investment plan. Say you have 2 shares - Commonwealth Bank and BHP, and you want them split 50/50. As CBA pays more dividends, dividend reinvesting will gradually put this out of whack. Also, dividend reinvesting means you buy more shares every 6 months, so you have an enormous number of holdings to keep track of when you sell, as each has a different cost base. You may also think that you would get a better deal at a different time of the year. You may want to diversify. The company may not offer dividend re-investing every time.

Sure, dividend re-investing is a good option as you don't have brokerage fees, and the shares tend to be cheaper, but there are reasons not to.

To add to this, some share purchases don't have DRP's e.g. Vanguad US Total Market Shares Index ETF on the ASX doesn't allow it.