#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.

#52

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.

Memberships

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.

#223 Ban Electronics from one Room

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.

#223

Ban electronics from one room in your home.

This suggestion will improve your family and interpersonal life… guaranteed! Easily for the last ten years, electronics of all types have infiltrated the most elementary moments in our lives and disrupted our ability to feel connected even in our own living rooms.

Disconnected

As a psychotherapist, I am frequently hearing how disconnected people feel from others in their home because someone they love – and desire attention from – is consumed with activity on their phone. It doesn’t matter if it is gaming, social media, or news… the fact that it is accessible from the palm of our hand seems to create a temptation for constant access no matter where we are or what is happening. How many of us try to watch television AND play on or watch something else simultaneously on our phone?  

Belonging

In order to experience one of the primary benefits of being a family – we have to actually talk to one another, engage in eye contact, and offer our exclusive attention to one another. It’s the oldest method of establishing belonging that is known. Any distraction can negatively impact this process; leaving people floundering for a sense of communion.

The Solution

There’s a quick and easy fix for this problem! Ban electronics (phones, ipads, laptops, etc…) from just ONE room in your home – ideally, the room you most often ‘gather’ in. It’s a simple rule that isn’t really any different than taking your shoes off at the front door… something implemented and enforced will eventually become habit and second nature. Before you know it, everyone in the room will be engaged in a shared conversation, focused on the movie, or concentrating on the game and experiencing a strong sense of belonging once you…

Ban electronics from one room in your home.

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