Thursday, April 25, 2013

missing these 5 “birthdays” is costing you money!

that's me on the right, with twinnie Jean!
your calendar has all your friends’ and family’s birthdays on it, right?

but what about the other important recurring dates in your life that if neglected cost you big bucks?

like what? well ...

1. your cell phone contract.
if you don’t call to re-negotiate with your cellular provider before your contract runs out, you could end up getting re-signed for another two years without your knowledge. it’s happened to me. not good: because you need to evaluate if this is the best carrier for you and if you’re getting the best deal. also, at the end of the contract, you should be eligible for an upgrade or special deal (i got a free iPhone when i traded in my blackberry.) if you neglect to ask for it, the company's not going to call and remind you. So mark your calendar!

2. your cell phone usage.
if you don’t know what day your cell phone billing cycle ends each month, you could go over your minutes, data or texting, and that costs big bucks. i have verizon, and i have email alerts that let me know when i’m getting close to my usage limits. but i also keep record of when my billing cycle ends, so if i do get low on minutes, i know how long i’ll have to watch my usage before the new cycle begins. take that, verizon!

3. your cable TV promotion.
did you sign up for a great discount promotion on your cable? when it runs out (usually in six months), it automatically bumps up to a higher amount. mine’s going up $35 bucks a month in august, and i'm not happy about it. also, that “free” HBO they gave me? it will now start showing up on my bill ($10/month) if i don’t verbally cancel it before august 1. so tricky. grrrrr....

 4. your annual fee credit card.
does your credit card have an annual fee? if so, be sure you make note of when that’s going to hit. before it does, move your debt balance to a zero percent, no annual fee card, and pay the heck out of that debt! if it's zero percent for just a year, mark your calendar, and move the debt to a different zero interest card before that deadline. you can transfer debt easily online—just watch out for transfer fees.

5. your monthly bills.
what day are your bills due? if you pay through your bank, like I do, it can take an extra few days for your payment to process (or your check to arrive if you pay by check. seriously, does anybody still use checks?) and that means late fees. so mark your calendar with all the dates your bills are due, and stay ahead of the late-fee game.

I put everything on my Outlook calendar, which reminds me of everything from little league games to the electric bill. Couldn't live without it.

finally, here's a bonus tip i learned the hard way. look at your phone bills. i downloaded a ringtone, and unbeknownst to me, i was signed up for a $10/month fee for unlimited ringtones, which i did not want or need. i don't know how many months i paid for that service before i realized it was there and cancelled. that was one expensive download.

knowledge is power. go forth and save!

PS I did this and it took about 30 minutes.

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