Thursday, January 26, 2017

What Have You Been Missing?

Am I paranoid, or are they really trying to overcharge me?  In the past six months, we changed our ISP, entertainment, and phone service, saving us $150 each month.  I have had to call five months in a row because my bill was wrong – sometimes up to $200 in errors. 

I shopped our insurance rates, and it’s reassuring that we already have a company with the best rates and reliable service. Our homeowners’ insurance company had the wrong start date on the policy, and we were able to get it corrected and have two additional months of coverage.

We reduced one bill that provided redundant services and will save $240 a year, and I did find an error on our medical insurance bill dating back to August, and we are getting a refund for $200. 

All this is from reading the monthly statements for our bank, credit cards, cell phone carrier, and reviewing the insurance bills at renewal time.  Except for the phone service and insurance, I accomplished most of these savings in January.  Is there anything you have been missing on your statements?  How would you know?

I’ll admit that reading statements and bills is not very entertaining.  I’d rather be perusing travel brochures and planning our next escape.  That is my motivation for being vigilant about our money – I want to travel and experience new adventures as often as possible.  Our next trip keeps me inspired to save now and enjoy soon enough.

I’ve talked about this before, First Step to Control – Review Your Bills.  You don’t have to look at every detail on your 401K account, but make sure that your contributions are showing up right, and that the money is being invested the way you had it planned.  At least once a year, have a face to face appointment with your financial advisor to ensure your investments are doing what you need them to do.  Your goals may have changed, and you want to ensure your securities are still the best choice for you.

Starting today, read all the statements that you receive in the mail or e-mail for the next thirty days.  See what you observe about the bills, note any follow-up needed. Make the calls to get things fixed.  You are more in control of your finances than you were a month ago.  Feels good, doesn’t it?  Now, you can browse the internet for your next adventure.