Automatic payments are convenient, but discovering that a company billed you for unexpected increases can be extremely frustrating. Manually checking your bills every couple of months ensures your automatic payments don't catch you off guard.
Photo by Keith Williamson
Carrie Kirby recommends manually checking your automatic payments at Wise Bread:
When you have to manually pay a bill each month, you tend to look at the amount you're paying and the statement. When I pay my electric bill, I compare it to the past month and the year-before's bills, and if it went up, I think about what we might have been doing differently to use more electricity. But I tend to slide on watching bills that get paid automatically, like our phone bill. Even if we still receive a paper statement, if I know the bill is paid it's too tempting to just recycle the bill without opening it. This could lead to unpleasant surprises if your bill goes up or fluctuates. Fight the temptation to ignore the amounts billed, and pore over your statements on occasion. You might be glad you did.
Every one or two months, check the bills you've automated for hidden fees and increases. The earlier you catch mistakes, the faster they can be fixed.
7 Ways Auto-Payments Can Screw You [Wise Bread]