Nearly half of all Americans don’t pay their bills on time. Setting up automatic payments can help you avoid late fees and service interruptions. The drawback is that if you don’t budget correctly, you may overdraft your account. For that reason, there are certain bills you don’t want to put on autopay. Find out which ones can get you into trouble.
Not everyone pays their auto insurance on a monthly basis. Instead, some drivers prefer to pay in full every six months. When a bill is infrequent, there’s a better chance of forgetting the next due date. If there’s not enough money in your bank account to cover the expense, the bill won’t get paid. Missing payments can get you dropped from your insurer and create a whole lot of headaches that you don’t need.
In most states, you’re required to at least have liability coverage. If you’re caught driving while uninsured, you may face fines, a suspended license, jail time and repossession of your vehicle. Plus, you’ll be responsible for covering all damages out of pocket if you get into an accident. Having a lapse in coverage can also cause you to pay a higher insurance rate in the future.
Normally when you get your bills, you review the statement and write a check or make a one-time payment. Autopay tends to make people lazy. They just assume that everything is correct and go about their business. Since utility bills fluctuate from month to month, you may not notice a rate increase or a sign that something’s wrong because you’re not paying close enough attention.
Every year people claim they’re going to start hitting the gym and get into the best shape of their life. After a few months, they’re singing a completely different tune. The problem is they continue paying for a service that they no longer use. Reports show that 80 percent of Americans who have a gym membership, don’t go to the gym. That’s an average of $58 a month they’re throwing down the drain.
To encourage customers to sign up for autopay, some cell phone companies offer a $5-$10 monthly discount on every line. This is great for those with unlimited talk and data plans who can afford it. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, don’t even bother. Since the billing dates aren’t the same each month, an unexpected payment can put your account in the red.