Let's Talk $$$

Friday, January 28 -

This is a departure from my normal posts. It has nothing to do with food, photography, or working out! 

It's about all about dollar signs.

photo source
Now, let's talk bills.

We all have them and they're one of those unavoidable things in life. Sometimes, despite my better
judgement, I want to pretend they don't exist. No matter how indifferent I choose to be toward them, they just don't go away and need to be tackled head on. I've found that setting up auto pay on my credit card for most bills works well and I don't have to worry about paying late. 

The credit card method works for me because one thing I never ever budge on is paying my card on time. I hate the idea of paying interest on money I've already spent and treat my credit card as if it was debit or cash and spend only what I have. If I don't have the money, I can't spend it and despite the alluring pay later notion, there should be no exceptions with credit cards. This philosophy works %95 of the time for me and I am trying to make work all the time to avoid dipping into savings.

        So back to the bills.
        Bills paid on time? Check.
        Reviewing the auto bill charges each month? 1/2 check?
Although I haven't always checked the charges on my card, I've learned my lesson on how important it is to do so regularly. It would be a perfect world if you could sit back, put your feet up, and rely on companies to charge accurately. 

Several times over the past year I've had to call companies inquiring about inflated charges or differences in my auto bill amounts. The most recent event (charged me up for this blog post!) was my experience with Comcast. I turned in my equipment several weeks ago and completely ended my service with them. Low and behold a $123 charge appeared on my credit card from Comcast just this week. It made no sense to me. I normally pay $87 normally and my account payments should have been settled completely and definitely should not have been more expensive. Despite my surprise at seeing the charge, I still thought:

        I must be missing something about how they bill?        
        Maybe the auto pay skipped last month and I owed a month and a half?
        Maybe I have just have no clue what I am taking about?        

And then I realized, oh heckkk no. This makes no sense to me and that's a good enough reason to call. And ... sure enough they charged me wrong. They were really nice and issued a full refund because they just "forgot" to turn off the auto pay option I had set with them. That's very confusing how a canceled account can still be set for future auto payments? To their discredit though, it wasn't the first time I've had to call to get services and expenses taken off that magically appeared. 

I'm relieved and the 10 minute phone call was well worth it. Thanks Comcast for the oh so gentle reminder of the importance of checking bills. Now though, personally I would go insane reviewing every small detail of every charge and expense. I need a balance to stay sane and am not advocating a life of financial anxiety and never ending vigilance. Here's the bottom line for me.
Know what you should be charged, review your statements for the big picture, and stick to your guns!
It's your money. You are the only one who should be giving it out for free!
 What works for you? 



Judy said... [Reply to comment]

I accidentally signed up (or so I was told) for a monthly subscription to boingo (hot spot at airports) and it took me about 9 months to realize I was getting charged $10 a month!

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