Over the next couple of weeks, six finalists will be auditioning for the opening of “staff writer” at Consumerism Commentary. Each will be providing two guest articles to share with readers. After the six writers have shared their guest articles, readers will have an opportunity to provide feedback before we select the staff writer.
This article is presented by Ray, the owner and primary author of Financial Highway, where he discusses investing, saving and practical money management concepts.
I hate going through bills and statements every month, but the Mrs. on the other hand is very particular about it, she goes through all of the bills and checks items off “what a waste of time” I used to think until I recently. The few minutes it takes to check your bills can save you a lot of headache in the future.
The most obvious reason you should take the time to check your statements is to check for unauthorized charges. This happens more frequent than you would think, if there is a large fraudulent charge it would be easy to detect but it’s the small amounts that can go unnoticed for a long time. This could also be charges that are not necessarily unauthorized but certain fees that you are unaware of, often you have between 60-90 days to dispute these charges so it is important to check regularly and report such charges immediately.
Yes mistakes happen, sometimes you are charged for things you are not suppose to be charged for, maybe a promotion ended or maybe a new fee was placed on certain things and you may miss them. By checking your bills regularly you will be aware of any extra fees or mistakes on your accounts, again taking early action will help you rectify these issues.
Although I am a big fan of putting your finances on autopilot, you still need to keep track of your spending and budgeting. Going through your bills and statements will enable you to keep track of your expenditures and see if you are staying within your budget. It will also help you keep track of who you owe and how much, doing this on monthly bases will save you a lot of time at the end of the year and during tax filling.
Promotions and changes
Every now and then I notice some promotional offer being available from the company, for example recently I noticed that we can get a free upgrade on our TV package for six months, I love free! Checking the bills you may be able to find a few good promotions, which can go a long way. Companies also notify their customers of any changes in their terms and conditions when they send out the bills, you may miss important changes if you do not go through them which can end up costing you in the end.
I used to hate going through bills, but now I realize that those few minutes can save me a great deal of headache and run around later on. Not to mention the potential of saving money.
Do you go through your bills? Any other reasons why one should go through their bills on regular bases?
This is a guest article by Ray, one of six finalists interested in being Consumerism Commentary’s staff writer.
Published or updated November 8, 2009.