NOT ALL BILL PAYMENTS SHOULD BE AUTOMATICALLY DEDUCTED

Posted by DB Wilson on Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 at 2:52pm.

While automated payments ensure your bills get paid with little-to-no effort on your part and keep service providers happy, it’s better to pay some bills manually.Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for all-too-frequent fee hikes, surprise costs, and payments for services you never even use, according to Yahoo! Finance.

If you’re not expecting them or keeping a close eye on your account balances, those extra costs can bleed your account dry and easily overdraw your account, adding overdraft fees to your burden, Yahoo! Finance reports.

The online magazine recommends dropping these five fees from your automated payment list as soon as possible:

Mobile Phone Bills

Mobile phone bills are high enough, but if you go over your allotted minutes or texting and/or data limits, the resulting bill could be a shocker. If you have children with cell phones, you have to pay particular attention to your bills, as they may download ringtones that have monthly subscription fees buried in the terms and conditions. Automating that expense means you may not notice the charges for months.

Insurance payments

Insurance companies may sell you on their plans with aggressive advertising and the best prices for new customers. But then your premium will creep up over the years and they hope you won’t notice. Keep them honest by shopping the rates every year or two, Yahoo! Finance advises.

Utilities

Sitting down to pay water, electric and heating bills may seem like a tedious chore, but they may be the first tipoff that something’s not right, like the refrigerator door isn’t being closed. Big bills will encourage you to investigate problems early.

Gym memberships

Instead of purchasing a monthly membership at a gym that is automatically deducted from your checking account, then rarely visiting the gym, pay as you go, buy a package of passes or use smartphone apps to support your otherwise free workout. 

Cable Bills

Instead of shelling out three figures every month to occasionally watch a movie or program on cable television, consider individual purchases from iTunes or Amazon. Doing so may make you realize you don’t actually have to watch those shows and get you out from in front of the TV. You can also watch movies over your Internet connection through Netflix and other providers for much less than cable costs you.

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