Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why I Don't Automate My Fiscal Life

Lots of people in the PF world are big into auto payments and auto debits. I'm not. Maybe it's my generation, maybe it's me, but I'm not really into auto payments that I don't have control over. The one time I set up an auto payment, it was a disaster. I did it with my old mortgage company and one month they triple debited me. Let's just say the chain reaction of bounced checks was insane. My bank was good enough to realize the error was the fault of the mortgage company and paid a number of checks without increasing my overdraft, it took three days for the mortgage company to refund the extra debits. Actually if I remember, they just asked if I wanted the extra debits credited for the next two months. I remember shrieking NOOOOOO. They did pay the overdraft fees as well, but needless to say the whole experience left me a little jaded on the auto debit feature.

I auto debit on two payments, one is my EZ Pass ($25 at a time and maybe once every couple months depending on my travel) and my mobile phone bill. Everything else is either paid by check or with me having control over processing the payment from my checking account to the merchant.

I am very leery about giving any one my bank information, even another bank. I make the time twice a month to sit down, look at my bills write out the checks, and mail them. It gives me a sense of satisfaction to write out the checks and send them off. Lest you say "Betty aren't you afraid that you mail might get lost and not make it on time?" Yes that is always a real possibility, but anything of great importance (like my car note right now), I send with a tracking number. I'm a little leery of my car loan bank, they don't have the best reputation, so I'd rather be safe than sorry. I've had freakier things happen with auto debits than with the US Mail.

1 comment:

Ugly Debty said...

I'm with you. Auto deductions from your bank account always gets you into big trouble. I'd rather just pay the bill myself.