It’s no secret that everybody loves your money. We all give it away to businesses every day with the assumption that the goods and services that each company has, is a better deal than a specific amount of money that’s in our wallet at the time.
These days, the money doesn’t even have to be in your wallet. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be in your bank account. It can go straight to your credit card. It seems that more and more companies prefer to collect their monthly payment from you electronically and via a credit card. That way they don’t have to worry as much about tracking you down to convince you to pay them each month. I’m sure it’s far cheaper for them to deal with a few maxed out credit cards than actually counting on all of their customers to send in the payment.
The reason I mention this is that I think it’s just one more way we are â€œnumbedâ€ to all of our money leaving our possession each month. Out of site, out of mind, so to speak. I’m pretty vigilant about reviewing my credit card each month since we always pay the balance in full, but for all those people that aren’t paying attention, they might not even realize if they are overcharged, etc.
Corporate America seems to be on a never ending crusade to get you hooked up to them like a drug addict, paying that bill every month, without even realizing it. I thought I’d just brainstorm a few areas where credit card payments seem to be popular:
Cel phone bills
Blockbuster movie rentals
Internet website subscriptions
That’s just a few that I’ve seen. I’m sure that you can probably pay just about anything with your credit card on a recurring basis. I know it’s convenient, but from a macro view, it seems dangerous. If you are good with your money, it’s no problem. I actually had a â€œrun inâ€ with my cel phone provider recently. I’d been paying about the same amount every month, and it took me 3 months to notice that my bill had gone up. I’d changed plans a couple times so my â€œrip off radarâ€ didn’t go off as quickly. Turns out they had just randomly put a new $15 per month expense for picture and messaging, which I’d never used. I called and got them to take it off, but had I been paying it with my credit card, I’m not sure I would have caught it for even longer.
Online bill pay? Now that’s where I think we are making huge progress. I love online bill pay. I pay each and every bill online every month, but I do it manually. I want to review every bill so that I know it’s correct, and it makes me conscious of the expense and impact to our budget. There is an option in there to pay the bill every month automatically, but I just don’t feel comfortable doing it. Maybe I’m just not progressive enough in my thinking.