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Zombie Billing: Automatic Payments Have a Life of Their Own
Written by MJS - Editor
Friday, 07 July 2017 19:05

Hope you had a Happy Fourth of July! While you're doing your best to avoid the summer heat, take a look at these tips for your tax and personal financial planning. This issue includes articles on retirement planning and on keeping your automatic bill payments under control. For the business-minded, there is a list of things to avoid when buying or selling a business, and five common mistakes made by those using the home office deduction.

The turn it on and forget it nature of automatic payments can create "zombie billing" cycles that go on without being reviewed or challenged, even after the product or service you pay for is no longer of value.

Here are some ideas to keep this from happening to you.

Bullet Point Create a list. Make a list of the companies you authorize to use automatic bill payment. Include the account number each company uses, as well as payment amounts and frequency. When there's a change in a card or bank account, you can consult the list to find the companies you need to notify.
Zombie billing image
Bullet Point Watch for fees. Make sure the bill-payment system you're using is low-cost or no-cost. Some companies will charge you a fee for automatic payments. If your biller wants to charge you, pay them with a traditional check. Consider consolidating all your automatic payments within one bill-paying service. Your bank may even offer online bill payment with no fee.
Bullet Point Review underlying bills. Automated billing usually means you're not getting paper copies of your bill. If you're not receiving a physical copy, changes to your service may go unnoticed. If possible, opt to continue receiving email or paper billing statements. Review statements monthly to verify that your payment has not changed and there are no additional fees or errors.
Bullet Point Drop underused services. Periodically review all automatic payments. Drop products and services that are no longer of value.

Automatic billing is meant to simplify your life, but if you allow it to turn into zombie billing, it will have the opposite effect. Take care to review your accounts and statements to protect yourself and keep your finances under your control.

As always, should you have any questions or concerns regarding your situation please feel free to call.

This newsletter is provided by
MJS Payroll Plus, LLC
27251 SR 54, Suite B-14/308
Wesley Chapel, FL 33544
Phone (813) 929-3098
Fax (813) 929-3099

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