For many people, the attainment of wealth means never having to think about money again. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had enough money that you could do something else with your time, leaving the accounting and investing to someone in your employ? While that might sound like paradise, it’s an illusion for just about everybody. The fact is, the more money you have, the more you have to keep an eye on it. Can you imagine a Warren Buffett who doesn’t keep track of his own investments? It simply wouldn’t happen. If you have less money than Warren Buffett, but you hope to increase your wealth, you should keep even closer track of your finances! And there are plenty of corners of your portfolio and personal finance life that could do with a little extra attention on your part.
One example is in the arena of automated payments. Automated payments are convenient. They are how we get our bills paid and, increasingly, how we organize many different situations in life. Today you can subscribe to anything: toothpaste, digital entertainment, new clothes. Many people have become enamored of this new subscription model, monthly shipments of the stuff we use in our everyday lives sent straight to our door, or made available online. But there are dangers in auto-pay content and goods.
For one, the automatic draft habit tends to become a lifestyle. You can quickly rack up thousands of dollars in monthly payments, especially when you set up auto-payment for your regular bills and utilities. It’s not uncommon for people to lose interest or use for one or more items and services. In a situation like this, it’s equally common for the person to forget to cancel the service. In the end he or she will pay hundreds of dollars over months, for a service which they don’t even use!
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This situation can be remedied by giving careful attention to your spending accounts, every couple of months or so. Cancel any auto-payments that you find, which are not wanted. This hunt could reveal other, similar problems. For instance, in England consumers often find PPI or Payment Protection Insurance drafted from their checking accounts each month. The problem is: they don’t want it or even know what it is.
PPI is an example of a service (insurance against missed loan payments, in this case) that is foisted upon consumers during confusing times. In this case, thousands of homeowners signed up for PPI when they were mindlessly signing endless pages during their mortgage closing process. www.ppiclaimsandadvice.com is an example of a company which now exists simply to get people out of these contracts, and to see that they get their money back. It’s possible that you have PPI. But it’s more likely that you have a similar payment getting drafted each month from your account, one which you don’t know about and that you want to get cancelled as soon as possible. Take a few minutes to review your accounts every month and take action against any payments that you did not initiate.