Always check your bills. Always


(Photo: Unsplash, Olga Delawerence)

Technology is a fabulous thing, especially when it reduces the amount of paper coming through my house.  I love that I hardly get any paper bills – less recycling!  What I don’t love about electronic bills, and really any electronic medium, is how easy it is to skim over the details of your bills.

Each month, I get a notification from my utilities about my monthly bills.  I always check my electric bill carefully, because I am super-interested in how much electricity we are using.  But my internet/cable/phone bill has been the same since the day we moved in, so I don’t check it every month.  Why would I??

Then, I was balancing my checkbook, and I noticed that my internet provider had debited more last month than previous months.  I got online, and couldn’t figure out what was going on, so I gave them a call.  I was really surprised and disappointed in what I learned.

First, the increase in my bill came from the end of a free trial for some TV channels we have never watched.  Not so bad.  Then, I inquired if there was a way to make my bill lower, and found out that I have been paying $4.99 per month for an unlisted phone number, ever since we moved into this house.  We don’t even have a phone jack, much less a phone, but we keep the phone service because it is part of a bundle that makes our internet even cheaper.  But I sure as heck don’t need that phone number to be unlisted.

I finally got the online system to produce a bill, and sure enough that $4.99 charge is in clear view on page 3 of the bill.  I’d just never scrolled down that far to see it.  This never would have happened if I got a paper bill in the mail, because I tend to examine them with a fine tooth comb.

Don’t be a dodo like me.  Check your bills carefully, even if they come in your email.  Who knows how much money you might save.

By Kate Horrell, Military.com

More at Military.com: