We all know that banks offer us time saving options to help us pay our monthly bills, but are they really the best option? Studies have found that once this autopay option is utilized, consumers sit back and just occasionally review their back accounts for accuracy.
We have all heard the story about the person that quit a gym membership only to find that the automatic payment option they set up when they first joined had been withdrawing funds from their account months after they quit the club. Your bank holds your money, it is imperative that you spend time to review and reconcile the account at least once a week.
As consumers we set up automatic payments with the power and light company, but when was the last time you looked at your bill, reviewed your usage and explored ways that you could reduce your bill? Consider going on to your power companies’ website and learning about the new ways you can reduce your power usage. Many companies have free online surveys that when completed, will provide some useful tips on how to lower your bill. Some companies like Florida Power and Light, www.fpl.com will provide a free energy audit and provide cash incentives to add insulation or change windows.
How about your water bill? Have you reviewed to see if your consumption has increased over the past 2 years? Maybe the increased water usage is a result of a leaky outdoor faucet you have been ignoring to fix. Have you reviewed your cell phone, cable/satellite plans, and auto insurance coverage within the past year? It will take a few minutes and a phone call to see if your plans may have changed. Always ask for your bill to be reviewed and ideas on how the bill could be lowered.
Automatic payments can be a great feature for individuals to make sure the bills get paid on time each month. Consider reviewing all of your bills each month as they come in and make sure you are managing each bank account and not wasting money that could be ultimately going to your savings account.