For most folks, direct debits are handy ways to pay bills, confirm subscriptions and put regular orders for products or services on autopilot. However, are you really making the most of these recurring fees, or are they sapping your financial resources? By reviewing your direct debit charges once per year, and by cleaning them up, you could find yourself with some extra disposable income.
• Overdraft Fees
If you are the kind of person who lives paycheck to paycheck, a forgotten recurring debit could be the catalyst for financial fallout. It’s easy to forget the date that a direct debit is due and even easier to forget to regularly add it to your monthly budget, leading to disaster and could just cost you hundreds of dollars a year in overdraft fees.
Monitor your direct debits regularly and write them into your budget. When you do, it is easier to keep your finances on track and avoid budget-blowing mishaps.
• Price Comparison
It’s tempting to become apathetic when it comes to direct debits. You continue to pay a previously agreed upon price for a product or service and write it into your budget, making it a staple expense. You resign yourself to the notion that the price you are paying is the right price. However, you might be missing out on better deals. By resigning yourself to pay a certain price month in and month out, sans price comparison, you are likely overpaying for products and services.
Compare and contrast what you are paying for each of your direct debits against what you could be paying by reviewing them every quarter, and make sure you are maximizing your money.
• Eliminating Waste
There might be some subscriptions or fees taken out of your checking account each month that are no longer of interest to you. Indeed, some direct debits can be so small, that you are likely to miss them. By spring-cleaning your direct debit charges, and eliminating the products and services you no longer use or have interest in, you will find yourself saving more money. It could be a forgotten magazine subscription, monthly fee to an online gaming website or a gym membership you aren’t using. No matter what your direct debit may be, seeking out your money wasting debits and eliminating them pays off in the long run.
Direct debits are convenient, standardized ways of paying in today’s fast-paced world, but while these conveniences make your life easier, it’s important to review these expenses at least once per year so that they don’t take over your financial life. Spring clean your financial life, and let the sun shine on your checking account all year long.