It happens almost weekly. It's not your fault, but it can be a thorn in your foot.
With everything on automatic, maybe you don't even notice it. This can be a drain on your wallet without you even knowing.
Getting charged for something you don't want.
Last week when we rented a car, we were charged an extra day because of a mix up in processing our return. I got charged an extra $42. I only found out because I looked at the e-receipt and my credit card bill.
Fixing something small like this is as simple as a toll-free phone call. Not a big deal. It only starts to get annoying when these errors happen over and over again.
Sometimes we'll go to the grocery store and buy produce, this requires the cashier to identify the vegetable and recall the code. Two possible error points. When they sell 4 types of tomatoes, 5 types of potatoes, 3 types of oranges, 5 types of apples, it can start to get confusing. But a vine tomato can sometimes cost twice as much as a regular tomato, so you have to check your receipt!
If you don't notice it right away, it can be a hassle to go back to the store to get it fixed for a dollar or two. I might go back just out of principle.
The worst was the other day when we were cancelling our condo insurance. The insurance company cancelled our insurance too early, then reinstated it, then cancelled it too late, then instead of a refund they charged us extra. We wasted 3 nights on the phone with them. Not the best experience, but we finally got our $24 refund back.
It even happens at the bank. Bank accounts often charge a monthly fee. In one of our accounts, it's $4. But when you have enough different services with the bank, they rebate the monthly fee. We noticed the rebate was missing last month. This required another phone call.
Everyone wants a piece of you, no one is looking out for your wallet, only you can do that.
What Can You Do?
1. Check your receipts at restaurants, grocery stores, and everywhere you shop. You can even watch them scan in each item since the cashier screens are facing you most of the time.
If there's something wrong, say something right away. No one will be offended if they are wrong. The only one that will be offended is your wallet if you let it happen.
2. Check your bank account activity at least every month. Make sure there are no weird withdrawals or debits from your accounts.
3. Check your credit card statements and account activity. If you don't know what something is, better to double check with the credit card company than to live with an extra $10 charge at Amazon.
Save Money Retire Early is written by Jon Lo, a barely 30 something change optimist, and personal finance guy. I believe anyone can be rich or poor, it's what you save that makes the difference.