Iâ€™m sorry to say, dear reader, your wallet is likely being drained. Not completely, mind you, but drained nonetheless. You see, there are many businesses and services which are designed to prise their way into your bank account, only to purloin a dollar or two here, a dollar or two there. The hope is that you, with your busy life and many active interests, will be too involved in other things to notice that the moneyâ€™s missing. There are many examples of this phenomenon, some of which will only be applicable to certain demographics or regions. Take a look and see which might apply to you.
- Payment Protection Insurance. PPI is available in many forms in most parts of the world. But in the United Kingdom, there is controversy surrounding PPI accounts which has stirred the ire of thousands. You see, over the previous decade it has become common practice in England for PPI plans to be sneaked into complex financial documents, often tacked onto loan applications. If youâ€™ve ever seen a loan contract, you know that itâ€™s likely that you could sneak in just about anything to giant paper stacks. Many consumers signed up for this insurance without knowing they had done so. Only when they noticed the monthly payments did people start catching on. Use this PPI calculator to see how much this mistake can cost, and correct it if this or a similar situation applies to you.
- Online Subscriptions. The internet offers lots of opportunities to automate your life. These include having items or services that you regularly use shipped to your house on the regular, payments automatically drafted from your bank account. There has been a rash of these product and services offers in recent years, and if youâ€™ve been on this bandwagon, chances are youâ€™ve signed up for some that you may have forgotten about. If you donâ€™t know that you can keep up with all the subscriptions you currently have (even if you do use them), itâ€™s better to cut back and use only those which you are sure you can manage.
- Payments Which Have Increased. Hereâ€™s something youâ€™ve really got to keep an eye on. If you make regular payments (automated as above) for things like internet access or phone coverage, youâ€™ve got to pay close attention to the price youâ€™re paying every month. Itâ€™s common practice for prices to increase after certain intervals (or, it seems, for no reason whatsoever). If youâ€™re used to having these payments come out of your account automatically, check to make sure youâ€™re paying what you think. A difference of $20 a month could be big money after a year or two.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways that businesses and corporations get more money out of you than you probably want them to. Managing your personal finance life in this way is tough, but itâ€™s not as hard as you might think. Take a couple of hours and pay attention to your bank account. You might find some stuff that you didnâ€™t know was going on.