Q: How should I pay bills: have creditors pull funds from my bank account or use my bank's bill-pay service? -- Emmett McAuliffe, St. Louis
A: The answer depends on whether you care more about convenience or control. If it's control, pay your bills via your bank. That makes it far easier to stop, change, or delay a payment, says Hoboken, N.J., planner Victoria Fillet.
What you gain in control, though, you may lose in convenience, notes Lauren Prince, a planner in New York City.
Though bank auto payments may work well for recurring fixed amounts, you still have to stay on top of bills that vary from month to month -- say, from credit card companies or utilities.
If you travel frequently or are forgetful, authorizing reputable creditors to initiate electronic fund transfers for amounts due is better than being delinquent, adds Prince.