BoomeR ConsumeR Watch: 9 Bills You Should Never Put on Autopay Autopay could do more harm than good for these specific bills. By Valencia Higuera, GoBankingRates We can all use a simpler, more efficient way to manage expenses and save money. Putting your bills on autopay can ensure never forgetting a due date, which minimizes the risk of late fees and dings on your credit report. But although automatic payments can save time and streamline your personal finances, it isn’t the right choice for every expense.
month, and you could be caught off guard — and out of funds — if a payment posts when you weren’t expecting it.
Some cellphone plans also don’t have the same billing date each month. While you might have a set date — say the 15th — others have a monthly cycle that varies depending on the number of days the month. That doesn’t guarantee a consistent payment date each
A gym membership helps you get into shape and lose excess pounds. But you could lose more than that.
Since autopay is a hands-off approach to paying bills, you’re also less likely to inspect your cellphone bill after setting up automatic payments. That means you might not catch billing errors and will pay more than Autopay is ideal for payments that don’t fluctuate every necessary. month, such as your mortgage and car payments. You Utilities Bill know what to expect from these bills every month, so it’s easier to plan and budget for automatic drafts. This Unless you’re on a budget plan through your utility company — which lets you pay a set amount every isn’t the case with monthly expenses that fluctuate. month — your water, gas and electric bills also will Before you get excited and put your entire financial life fluctuate every month. Therefore, it’s generally safer on autopilot, here are some bills you should never put not to set utility bills on autopilot. on autopay. Initiating one-time payments every month involves Cellphone Bill signing into your accounts. In this case, you’re more If you have an unlimited cellphone plan and your bill likely to review statements before making a payment. never varies, autopay is a time-saving strategy for And when you regularly review your statements, it’s managing payments. There’s also the option of setting easier to identify unusual price increases. up automatic payments for a non-unlimited cellphone For example, a higher water bill can indicate a water plan. The problem, however, is that the amount you leak in your house. If you set up auto-draft for this bill owe can change from month to month, depending on and never review your statements, a leak might go data usage. And if you forget to read your cellphone unnoticed for months and cause extensive damage to statement in months that you owe more than usual, the your home — and your wallet. extra funds taken from your bank account could trigger Gym Membership an overdraft and bank fees.
If you’re committed to visiting the gym regularly, putting the monthly membership fee on autopay is a good idea. But despite your intentions, your actual time spent at Today’s BoomeR 21