Autopay Is Not Your Friend

Did you know that Autopay is a sneaky way that service companies often use to actually steal your money? Some people may not believe this, but I have got to say that this is the ugly truth about autopay. Nowadays, as everything has become so convenient, people get lazier. I used to be in this situation so I feel it very deeply. No matter how busy your life is, I am sure you will always have enough time to make monthly payments for your bills. I always believe that if you want to do something really bad, the universe will support you. If you want to save money, keep in mind that autopay is not your friend.

When I first moved out, I used to live by myself. Since I worked two jobs, I loved money, I did not have a lot of time to pay attention to small things around my life. This was a huge mistake. As we all know, when we live alone, we are responsible for every single bill there is. Since I was too busy all the time, I often missed due dates for my bills and as a result, I ended up getting charged a lot of late fees. To fix this, I thought that autopay was the best option, and I decided to set up automatic payments for every single bill. It was helping me a lot at first, so I gradually developed a bad habit of “not checking” for the balances of my bills. After a period of six months or so, everything came to light when I decided to take a look at my payments one night. I was so shocked when I saw how much money I have lost without noticing. 

The first bill I checked was my cell phone bill. By the time I opened the contract, I specifically requested to not add any extra services. All I wanted was the most basic cell phone service that I could use to make calls, texts, and LTE. The agent confirmed before I signed that I will not be charged for anything else. Until this day, I am still very upset every time I recall this memory. After I looked at the bill balance, I found out that somehow, I was charged an extra $20 every month for six consecutive months. As I contacted the company, they let me know that I was charged for something called “upgraded service.” This was totally unacceptable since I did not make any requests. To make things more frustrating, I was told that I could not get any refunds since they could only refund the most current month. As a result, I lost a lot of money believing in someone’s promise. To make sure the same thing did not happen again, I checked every bill I had, and I found out a few more bills that were also overcharging me.

Photo by Chronis Yan on Unsplash

Consequently, I canceled every autopay from all of my service providers. To make sure I did not forget any due dates, I wrote down each bill’s due date on a whiteboard. I bought a big whiteboard to write all of the things that I may forget. Turns out, this worked very well since I did not forget any due date ever since. Just write down your due dates each month on a whiteboard so they are always visible to you. As you made a payment, cross out that due date and move to the next. Always keep in mind that automatic payments can sneak up on you and steal your money.

Are you relying on automatic payments to pay your bills? If so, consider undo it or at least check carefully each month to make sure service companies are not overcharging you.

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