If just 20% of American households switched from traditional paper billing to electronic billing, it could save over 151 million pounds of paper annually. Despite that huge number, some people are still a bit skeptical when it comes to electronic billing. Whether it’s because they’re treading in unfamiliar waters or are afraid of a lack of security, electronic billing can seem treacherous. But if you follow these five rules, your electronic billing experience will make you wonder why you didn’t go paperless years ago.

Check Due Dates Each Month

You can claim that you know your due dates all you want, but there’s never anything wrong with checking just to be sure. In addition, you should compare the billing statement to your account balance to make sure that the correct amount has been paid out.

Stay Informed

Information about companies can change all the time, and it’s usually on you to stay informed. Keeping on top of correspondence with your billing company as well as your monthly statements is extremely important on this front. One-fourth of customers reported a better relationship with their billing company after switching to an electronic billing system, perhaps because there was ease of access to the correct information.

Take Your Time

Just as in paper billing, you need to take your time and pay attention to what you’re doing. A utility billing service will want you to keep track of all of your payments, and you should do so carefully.

Keep a Trail

While leaving a trail can often be seen as a problem, it’s actually a very good practice to have in all things financial. Fortunately, keeping an electronic trail is as simple as saving a copy of the bill to a folder on your computer. This way, you’ll be able to look back on concrete evidence should any discrepancies arise. This will also save you headaches come tax season.

Protect Your Identity

No matter what institution you’re working with, you will never be asked for a social security number or any irrelevant personal information. If you see anything suspicious, don’t hesitate to call your electronic billing service and ask about it. The more cautious you are, the better.

After switching to electronic invoices, one-half of customers paid their utility billing service before a paper statement would have even arrived in the mail. Not only can electronic billing save customers time and frustration, but it can help utilities get their money faster.

If you’re going paperless this year, then simply follow these five rules and you should be on your way in no time.