Checking These 5 Things on a Regular Basis Can Save You a Mint | Refresh Financial
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Checking These 5 Things on a Regular Basis Can Save You a Mint

checking phoneAs life gets busier for us Canadians, we have a tendency to drop more and more tasks from our daily to-do lists that don’t seem crucial. We order out instead of cooking at home, we may not clean the house as much as we would like and we tend to cut corners when it comes to financial stuff, too. Every month, we get important information from financial institutions, employers, lenders and more and every month, many Canadians tend to ignore that information. It takes motivation, mental energy, effort. Ain’t nobody got time for that, right?

Instead, we throw these statements in a pile somewhere, promising ourselves we’ll get to them eventually. We never do, though, do we? They are destined for the shredder and that’s that.

I’m here to suggest that maybe you should make these things more of a priority. That looking through some of your monthly financial information might actually have a huge impact on your finances and save you money. What’s more, it can save you tremendous headaches in the future. Here are five things you likely get every month that you should take the time to look at to change your finances for the better.

Credit Card Statements

We all know this, right? We’re all aware that skimming over our credit card statements is a good practice. The problem is, we know it but don’t do it. When you look at your credit card statements regularly, you’re going to notice double charges when they happen. You’ll see when you get charged for a subscription you may have forgotten about and don’t need anymore. You’ll notice if there is any suspicious activity on your card, too. There are so many things that can happen with a credit card account that will end up costing you more than you have if you’re not carefully watching. Noticing these things right away, rather than a year down the line when you finally get to that pile on your desk, is going to save you time, money, interest, and headaches. Just take five minutes every month to make sure everything on your credit card statement is what it should be and you’ll protect yourself and your finances from error, theft, and poor judgment.

Bank Statements

Taking a peek at your bank statements as often as you can will not just help you to catch things like hidden banking fees and debit payments being made twice. You’ll also see the big picture more easily. You’re going to see where you spend and how often you spend, and seeing that visually represented in front of you can have a tremendous impact on how you move forward with your spending. Also, within that big picture, if you’re actively saving, you’re going to see that amount you’re saving go up. You’re going to see your interest earned and watch the numbers rise, which is always motivating to want to see it go up faster.

Utility Bills

We do stuff we forget. We sign up for sport channel packages to watch one game and then forget to cancel it. We set up roaming packages for our smart phones when we leave town and forget to turn them off when we come home. By looking at the individual charges on all of your utility bills each month, none of this is going to get by you. Neither will all those on-demand movies your teens are renting after you go to bed on the weekends, or all the text messages they’re sending to their friends, well past their texting limit. You’re also going to spot overcharges and you’ll see sooner when you’re due for a device upgrade and how much you can save on it. A picture becomes clear, when we look at our bills, what we need to keep paying for because we actually use it, and what we can cut back on like dead weight.

Receipts

Humans are humans and we all make mistakes. I know you’ve been overcharged for something before, as have I. Perhaps the cashier rang it in twice or maybe she just hit an extra number. Whatever the case, it’s usually easily resolved and can save you money in the long run.

Pay stubs

I read a story once about a man who was given a raise. When his paychecks were higher, he thought nothing of it. Almost a year later, his employer told him they had been overpaying him and he owed the extra money they had paid to him back. While the legality of this can easily be disputed, that didn’t save the man from huge, bureaucratic headaches that went on for months, not to mention having to work under the people you’re in a dispute with, every day. He’d even paid some taxes on those earnings, which is money he can’t recover. By simply checking his pay stubs on a regular basis, he could have saved himself a ton of problems and potentially a job. Your employer is bound to make a mistake here and there and you’re the only one who can catch it and save you money. By looking regularly at your pay stubs, you’re also going to see what deductions are being made and you’re going to learn what they’re for and how to use them to your benefit. Pay stubs are not complicated things. We’re talking five minutes of your time every two weeks in order to prevent years and years of potential problems.

Do you double-check all of these things to help save you money? Let us know why or why not in the comments!

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