SoBo Mama's Tips & Tricks











{March 29, 2013}   Saving Money: Check Before You Write Your Check!

Clipart of bills and coins

In the age of electronic everything, many of us pay bills online.  There are options to autodraft almost every bill I have.

I rarely use that option.

I need to see a bill.  When my bills come in, I open them, check the due dates and amounts, and put them aside till bill-day.  I pay my bills on my paydays, twice a month, and it works out really well.  But actually looking through the bills has saved me money.

This is not the best example, but last year, I noticed that my water bill was getting higher every month.  There are several things included in my water bill, such as ambulance, sewer, trash pick up, that automatically make this around $50 each month.  A water bill of $100 made my teeth grind but I still didn’t really question it.

A $300 bill got my full attention.

I called the local water department and asked them to re-read my meter.  They stated that they did and it was correct.  Grizz, with his head for numbers, did the math and we’d have been using thousands of gallons a day.  While nobody was at home.  The water department told me we must have a leak, so Grizzly, connected in that construction world, had a plumber friend come and check it out (potential savings: $160).  No leaks.  I called the water department and suggested they replace the meter.

I’ve not had a bill over $80 since.

While they did not credit back any of that $300, I cringe thinking about how long that could have gone on if I hadn’t been careful about checking my bill.  And thankfully I didn’t use autodraft, because I would never have planned appropriately for a $300 water bill.

Another example of my vigilance paying off came just this week.  My Verizon bill came in the mail and it didn’t look right. The House of Cheaptitude  has multiple cell phones, a home phone, and our internet service all on one plan, so the bill is not a fun one, but it saves money to bundle these into one bill.  While I did upgrade my phone last month and charge it to my account, the pricing didn’t look right.  So I called customer service.

When I purchased my handy-dandy Droid Razr Maxx HD, it was on sale $50 off (or I would have waited to buy it!)  Over the past year, Verizon added a $30 upgrade fee, but I would still be $20 off the full price.  Then, there was a $50 loyalty discount.  The price wasn’t right.

When the awesome lady at customer service started checking into it, she agreed with me.  She found where I had not received one of my discounts and immediately credited my bill.  Savings – $50.  All it took was a ten minute phone call.

It really pays to keep an eye on your bills and get a grip on how much they should be each month!

Are you an autodraft fan?  Or does your CDO have you pouring over your bills, line by line?

~ Katie

 

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Lindsay says:

We only auto draft our mortgage and car insurance. The mortgage we pay weekly and we get a discount with our car insurance for going paperless. Everything else we get a bill for. Good thing because our cable was charging us for one of their modems and we have our own!



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