Putting your bills on autopay is a seamless way of ensuring timely payment to the necessities in your life. Nevertheless, putting some bills on autopay can be extremely damaging to your financial standing!
So, which bills should you never put on autopay? Let’s find out.
Medical billing is known for errors, and automatically paying every bill without reviewing it first could lead to paying for services you didn’t receive or being overcharged. Autopay also doesn’t allow for negotiation.
Often, medical bills can be negotiated down, but with autopay, the bill is paid as initially charged without considering your current financial situation.
Medical expenses can be significant, and you might need to prioritize other urgent expenses or negotiate a payment plan.
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While autopay can be a convenient feature for constant bills and unlimited plans, it can quickly turn into a problem if your cellphone bill varies!
Most cell phone bills fluctuate monthly, depending on data usage. If you have used data more than usual in a month, your cellphone bill will accumulate higher, resulting in more deductions from your account than you anticipated. If a large bill accumulates, it might put you in overdraft, causing you to pay bank fees.
Similarly, some cell phone plans do not have a monthly billing date. Although you might prefer paying the bill in the second week, the cell phone plan bill might get deducted earlier, causing you to go into overdraft.
Since you have put your cell phone bills on autopay, you are also likely to avoid inspecting your monthly cellphone bills. So, if there are any billing errors, autopay might cause you to pay more than required.
Variable Loans or Mortgages
These types of loans have fluctuating interest rates, meaning your monthly payment amount can change. If you use autopay, you might not notice these changes immediately, which can disrupt your budget planning.
If rates go up significantly, it could stretch your finances thin unexpectedly. By manually paying these bills, you stay more aware of the current interest rate and payment amount, allowing you to adjust your budget accordingly.
At the end of the day, autopay could process payments at times that aren’t optimal for your financial situation, potentially leading to overdraft fees or insufficient funds in your account.
Most entertainment services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Spotify can provide the much-needed information to get through the year. Nevertheless, it is common for people to often forget about these services being on autopay, which results in huge deductions from their account!
A budget-friendly tip is always to buy these services on a monthly subscription. A survey by C&R Research concluded that 42% of the participants have continued paying for subscriptions that they no longer use. In this context, monthly subscriptions give you more control.
If you feel like you no longer want to use a service, you can cancel it. While you might have to pay a dollar or two extra, it saves you from a much higher amount you would be paying in an annual plan!
Btw, there are many other sites like Netflix where you can watch movies for free.
Accounts with Infrequent Use
The primary reason is that these accounts are not part of your regular payment cycle, making it easy to forget about them. When such accounts are on autopay, you might not notice unauthorized charges or errors, leading to potential financial loss.
If you don’t regularly monitor these accounts, you may not quickly realize changes in billing amounts or terms.
Also, having accounts you rarely use on autopay could mean paying for services you no longer need or use. This is particularly common with subscriptions or memberships.
Regularly reviewing and manually paying these bills encourages you to assess their ongoing value and necessity, potentially saving you money.
Bills, including electric, gas, and water, qualify as utility bills.
Utilities are the most important item in running a household and have a severe tendency to fluctuate! People with autopay on utilities have often reported having more than anticipated costs cut from their accounts.
If you have a high usage of a utility during a month, you might risk going overdraft by setting these bills to autopay!
The best thing to do is go on a budget plan if the utility company offers it. If your utility company does not sponsor the budget plans, it’s best to go back to one-time payments.
Setting one-time payments will allow you to review the payments and catch any discrepancies, allowing you to manage your finances smartly,
Like cellphone bills, internet or broadband bills will also fluctuate depending on the data usage. If you have a monitored dosage that falls within the limit set by your plan, there is no harm in setting the internet bills on autopay.
Nevertheless, since internet companies do not have to follow regulated prices by the government, they are free to raise prices according to their timeline. Even if you do not exceed the data usage limit, the price increase might result in more amounts getting deducted from your account.
Hence, it’s a savvy move always to review your internet bill monthly and ensure that you’re not paying more than expected. It’s crucial to review your internet bills monthly, especially if you signed up for the services on promotional pricing.
Going to the gym is a great way of staying in shape and losing extra pounds. Nevertheless, if you are not careful, you might end up losing more than that!
Unless you are a gym freak, people usually spend less time at the gym than anticipated. So, it’s pointless to pay for a service which you don’t go to frequently.
Although most gym memberships are not very costly, setting them out of pay will likely put a strain on your pocket. These membership bills often escape your mind, putting you at risk of going overdraft if you have limited funds in your account.
Instead, getting a monthly gym membership gives you more control over your expenses. You can keep hitting the gym frequently while having the freedom to back out any time you are not using the membership.
Credit Card Bills
Credit card bills can become a pain, especially when put on autopay. Since you’ll want to cover at least the minimum amount due, if set to autopay, the credit card bill might get deducted from your account regardless if you have enough to cover the payment.
To maintain a healthy financial position, it is best to self-manage the credit card bills. Smart credit card management will also allow you to review the purchase, so you can only purchase the must-need item through your credit card, excluding any other purchases.
Although subscribing to auto insurance premiums are only charged once or twice annually, they can often run considerably expensive.
If an auto insurance bill gets deducted from your account while your balance is low, you’re looking at a huge overdraft and big makeup fees! Apart from a significant amount being deducted from your account, auto insurance premiums often change prices frequently.
If you need an auto insurance premium, you would be better off making payments manually. Reviewing the bills before a renewal can help you comprehend whether you need the services and consider more budget-friendly options.
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Hi, I’m Ashley a freelance writer who’s passionate about personal finance. Ever since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by the power of money and how it can shape our lives. I’ve spent years learning everything I can about budgeting, saving, investing and retirement planning. So if you are looking for tips, advice, or just a little bit of inspiration to help you on your financial journey, you have come to the right place. I am always here to help, and I am excited to share my passion for personal finance with you.