Monday, November 9, 2009

Stop paying for services you don't use

car insurance

Have you checked your bills lately?

Around my house, they flow in endlessly. While I scrutinize each new bill, once they become a part of the budget, they tend to drop off my radar.

This past week, I got what looked like another privacy policy reminder in the mail. Fortunately, I actually read those. When I opened it up, I found it was actually an increase in a term-life policy for my wife. The 10-year term was up, and the price of the policy jumped 500 percent. If I hadn't done something, the money bill would have automatically been paid.

That started me thinking about other bills. I took a long look at my car insurance and found questions about the policy on one car. I looked at my phone bill and found options I was paying for but not really using any longer.

Fortunately, my wife is great at reviewing our credit and bank statements each month to make sure there are no mistakes. But I regularly hear from people who don't. They sometimes discover they've been paying bogus bills for months.

So my message is simple: Next month, don't just pay the bills; read them. Do you really need the unlimited-minutes plan on your cellphone? Should you be paying extra for wire insurance on your landline? Could you raise the deductible on your insurance? Do your bank or credit-account statements include services you don't need?

Just because it's in your budget doesn't mean it should be.

Reach Call 12 for Action 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays at 602-260-1212 or 866-260- 1212.