#52 Check Your Auto Pays

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Check Your Auto Pays

For many of us, the days of sitting down and writing out a check for each monthly bill that comes due are gone. Electronic banking has allowed us to set up scheduled payments for almost everything that needs to be paid. We can ‘auto pay’ our mortgages, Venmo our rent, and establish an automatic payment plan to pay down the balances of our credit cards. Most of us do a fair job at keeping those things in check.


What I’ve found that is harder to keep track of is those little $4.99 and $9.99 charges that we agreed to when we wanted something but then realized we would never use it. I’ve heard stories of $10 gym memberships that people paid for years because it was an automatic charge on their credit card and they didn’t pay close enough attention to the debit each month. I’ve personally signed up for JibJab – which, sounded fun and useful at the time – but never really used it and like others, didn’t pay close attention until it had auto-renewed for another twelve months.

Free Trials

Another way we end up with those pesky payments are from all the times we go online and sign up for a 30 day free trial – only to have to agree to subscribe to something in order to get it. Of course, if you cancel your subscription in the first 30 days – the time you used it was free. I think they count on thousands of people forgetting to log back in and cancel something they really only wanted to use for free.

Discerning Eye

The trick here is to have a discerning eye when it comes to your bank account and credit card statements. I’ve been lackadaisical too, especially since most of my accounts are now “paperless”. I’m less apt to open the account statement and give the activity a good hard look if the email gets opened on my phone versus when I am engaged at my desktop – assuming of course that it isn’t way out of whack based on what I anticipated it to be.

If each of us have a deduction of $5 that really isn’t getting spent for the use of something… someone, somewhere – is collecting a pretty penny!

Make it a goal as you prepare for your tax return this year to sit down and give your financial statements a once over… looking especially for those things that you’re paying for – but not using. I suspect you’ll save a few bucks just because you took the time to…

Check Your Auto Pays

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “#52 Check Your Auto Pays

  1. A great piece of advice I’d heard is to get one of those Visa gift cards for a small amount of money (or if you have a big one and used up almost all the money), then you can use it to sign up for the “free” trials and when they try to charge you if you forget to cancel, it will deny. Then you can cancel but I don’t really know if you’ll still be responsible to pay for what they tried to charge.

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