Just dropping in as a friendly reminder to check your standing orders and direct debits!
Yesterday I was doing some finance maintenance (fintenance if you will), and to my horror realized that I’ve been paying for a magazine subscription that was being sent to my student flat in first year! I’d like to think that some very confused students were at least learning something from them.
Am I the only one who’s done this?
I had a subscription I thought was cancelled get automatically renewed two nights ago (they graciously cancelled and twined me).
Through this, I discovered a list of ‘pre-authorised’ merchants on my PayPal account that should not be there. Worth checking those lists for anything too!
You have a very good point here, It can be a bit tedious going through everything but well worth doing from time to time as you have just proved. I am the absolute worst for signing upto subscriptions, forgetting to cancel them, then getting charged.
Glad to hear I’m not the only one! It’s understandable though, with so much going on, cancelling a subscription can the last thing on our minds. But it could save us a lot of money in the long run.
Are there any particularly brands or types of subscriptions you found it tricky to get loose from?
The issue for some of these is that with annual subscriptions that simply roll-over, particularly for something you no longer get and therefore will not miss, these things can go on for ages without you realising.
I’ve had this happen to me with insurance, magazine subscriptions, domain registrations, and more. Thankfully my wife is very careful to check all our statements, so we usually find stuff, but then it can take a while to get a refund and explain that you no longer receive the service.
I have noticed that while PayPal makes the checkout experience easier on sites, it adds another layer of obscurity to the source of a charge, and unless you go to research it, you can forget to follow up. I’m trying to move stuff back to my cards or direct debits where possible to have a clearer list of these in future.
So one situation that annoyed me a bit was actually a Norton subscription. I originally bought the product for around £30 from Curry’s then as I activated it there was some benefit to setting up a direct debit for renewal so I was like fine il set it up. Then one year down the line they debited the renewal at £79 when it was available online from their website to buy for £30. I understand it’s my fault for not sorting it out but I was like really, £79. I ended up ringing them and they kindly refunded the amount and I bought another year subscription for £30! Crazy!
It’s a good thing you noticed!
It’s funny, It’s those hidden expenses which make me nervous to check my finances even though they’re exactly what I need to be aware of. Have you ever turned a blind eye to your statements or are you an avid checker?
Interesting. Personally, haven’t had this issue. Curious… was this an annual subscription? Those infrequent quarterly/annual ones I’d be susceptible to forgetting about if I didn’t track them e.g. I pay for Fitbit Premium annually so must ensure I set up reminders on my reminder app.
Yes, it was an annual one. For me, the progression onto financial apps makes it a lot easier and quicker for me to check in and question what doesn’t look right.
That’s good to hear! Other than setting up reminders, do you have any other habits which keep you in check with your finances?
It’s no longer a habit anymore, but for several months I was using MoneyDashboard - an aggregator to account for all my finances on a monthly basis.
Main habit is just budgeting on payday and allocating cash to where it needs to be in separate accounts - out of sight out of mind.
It’s good to hear we’re all moving away from the excel spreadsheet-days.
But I’ve also found it difficult to keep track of all my money in different apps and accounts sometimes. Would you say you’ve found your ‘perfect’ set up, or is there much improvement still to be done in the fintech space?
Perfect set up, not yet, soon.
Same, I guess that’s why aggregators and incumbents allowing us to link our other account so we can see them all in one space are on the rise. I think an incoming improvement will be payment initiation from within apps: will be pretty cool to be able to move money around from within all my apps at the click of a button, rather than bank transferring everything around.
Will dozens embrace open banking soon, allow linking other accounts, etc so users can view other balances in-app?
We will definitely have Open Banking connections for Dozens – however, there are two ‘flavours’ of this -
- sharing Dozens account data with other providers (only with customer approval)
- managing data from other accounts within the Dozens app.
Our first priority is to make sure the first one – making your data available to you if you choose to view it on another site – is possible, but that also depends on those other sites making the necessary connections to us (via our API). This is something all financial providers need to do.
In due course, we may also help you to manage other accounts using your Dozens app. However, there are no fixed plans for this yet.
If you could do this, what sort of data would you like to see in your Dozens account, and what would you ideally like to do with it? I can always share that with the team.
Auto renewals for most types of security software used on personal devices is an absolute rip-off 99% of the time. For years, I have eschewed these subscription traps in favour of buying a 1-year or 2-year multi-device licence on eBay to cover my laptop, tablets and mobile phones. I usually save around 50-75% compared to a new licence or renewal direct with the software vendor.
The in-store or bundle deals on Norton, McAfee, etc often offered by the big-name stores are often poor value. Just download a trial version direct from the software vendor website (never use 3rd party download sites) then buy your licence on eBay.