There are many ways to reduce costs in our every day lives, so to help do just that each Monday I will post a money saving “Tip of the Week”.
“And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.” Luke 19:17
This weeks tip involves…reasons NOT TO USE automatic bill payments.
Automatic bill payment can be one of the best ways to repair bad credit and is a very good thing 90% of the time. It is the other 10% I would like to focus on today!
Do I Use Automatic Bill Pay?
You may be wondering if I use automatic payments for my bills. The answer to that question is…sometimes, but seldom. Actually the only bill that I have automatically taken out of my bank account each month is the payment for my 1st mortgage. I participate with auto payment for my mortgage because I know the amount will be the same each month; not to mention the fact that I have a lot of faith in my Capital One 360 banking system (they will not take the money out unless I have it in my account – hence NO Fees!).
I have a few reasons why I choose not to be a frequent user of the auto debit bill phenomenon each of which are all most likely related to the fact that I am a control freak when my finances are involved (which is a good thing). However, the most important reason I still pay most bills manually is because BILL COMPANIES AIN’T PERFECT. That’s right…I said “ain’t”.
What Happened To Me?
A few weeks ago my April Consumers Energy bill came in the mail, so I did like I do with all my bills & threw it in the trash. Just kidding, though I sure would like to sometimes…what ever happened to getting hand written letters from friends in the mail??? Never mind. After looking the bill over for just a few seconds I was surprised at the high amount & immediately suspicious. Since March was not that cold we ran our furnace (our largest monthly cost) much less often than in February, yet our bill was more expensive. Considering I do know utility companies will sometimes take “estimated readings” I immediately called them to give them a “more accurate reading” (the dirty dogs). The woman assured me the reading was an actual reading, so I encouraged her check for the accuracy of the reading. Sure enough, after a closer look she reported that there was an error in the reading and assured me it would be fix it immediately. The savings to me? Nearly $120!
The Moral of the Story
If you use automatic bill paying features, MAKE SURE you check each & every bill for accuracy. Though it may not happen every month, you may be surprised how many times there is a Monopoly type “banking error in your favor”. Pass go, collect $200!
Click here to see all our past DFA Tips of the Week.
DFA is passionately dedicated to helping others break the bondage of debt using biblical principles.