Friends, be honest with me, how close do you check your credit card statements? Really close? Kinda close?
I know life is busy, but I hope you are taking the time to check them well, and I’ll tell you why.
Full disclosure: I love Dave Ramsey’s financial wisdom, and while the idea of cutting up my credit card sounds so freeing, I am not about to go back to writing checks and licking envelopes, or hauling a van full of kids into the gas station. Not yet anyway. I do pay off my credit card each month and try to never ever carry a balance, but there are still ways to save when it comes to your typical spending habits.
Friends, we’re coming out of a season of absolute survival mode here, as I’m sure you can tell with my infrequent posts and lack of social media presence. I can honestly tell you there have been months on end (okay, it’s been 2 years) where I’ve only glanced at the bill and paid it, rather than really checking it over closely. I mean all the charges were for places I’d been, but I hadn’t checked the amounts or dates as good as I should’ve.
Good enough? Nope, not for me.
Dang! I’m not a perfectionist by any means, but gosh, I hate when I realize I did important things only halfway!
A few months ago my dad gave me the idea of turning on text message alerts each time my card is charged.
Thanks, Dad! I’m 32 years old and he is still imparting so much wisdom on me. No shame in my game, I’m here to learn!
I mean it. This has been super helpful, you guys. Yeah, okay, it’s slightly annoying when I’m getting text after text each time I swipe my card on a shopping day, but it’s helpful (and eye-opening) nonetheless.
Like when I wake up to a text that some online subscription that we aren’t even using anymore has auto-renewed for the month to the tune of $16. Yes, it’s no big deal for the current month, but at the end of the year, I’ve “donated” $192 to something I could care less about in this season of life.
Or little things, like an auto-renewal of $3.99 that has been getting charged monthly for an Amazon service we don’t even need or use that much. At the end of the year, there’s another $48.
How about Netflix and Hulu? We only pay for the months we use, and cancel it when we aren’t going to be using it. Even just canceling for the months of June, July, and August, when we’re busy outdoors anyway saves us $45 (Netflix currently $9/month, Hulu $6/month) and loads of time we would’ve spent in front of a screen because we felt like we had to use it.
In the past month alone I’ve had over $70 refunded for
accidental, um, actually, careless charges. Thanks, Alexa and whichever child signed us up for Amazon Music this past weekend (which by the way is $7.99/month). A couple of weeks ago my virus protection auto-renewed at their current outrageous rate that I could’ve got on Amazon for $60 cheaper!
Thankfully with the virus protection renewal, I received a text alert for the charge and called right away to get almost $60 refunded back on my card. I was kind and honest with the customer service rep and knew full well that the charge was my responsibility regardless if they would grant me grace or not. They went above and beyond to not only price match what the going rate on Amazon was, but they also asked if I wanted the auto-renewal turned off. Yes, please! Thank you very much!
Amazon was also kind enough to reverse the Amazon Music charge but assured me this was only a one-time thing, as their digital content is not refundable. Fair enough, we will try to be more careful in the future!
Friends, I know handling finances can be tricky. Let me assure you that you don’t have to spend and track every penny perfectly, but if you can do it even just “Slightly Better”, you’ll be well on your way to financial freedom!
Where are you saving lately?