In order to produce the podcast and keep content up free for you, I work with partners so this post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more info.

This is a money saving tip for the 50/50 Challenge.

Today's tip should take more than 20 minutes to do. If you can just get out your bills and bank statements for the last month and review them, you may be able to save yourself a bit of money or plug a money leak. I want to share two stories showing why it's important.

Cable Bill- Scary Jump In Price

This happened to me last year and it still shocks me how off the customer service representative was.  Basically we moved from our apartment to our town-home and I was looking for a deal through our cable company. At the time we were paying around $50/month, using Time Warner cable and internet and  Skype as our land line. As we called to transfer service to the new place, the customer service representative helpfully mentioned that for a mere $10/month more, we can substantially upgrade our cable.

The bill wasn’t $60-$70 as I expected, it was $140.23. $140. For just cable and internet. Ridiculous. Fortunately we got everything fixed; it was just annoying to have this mix-up in the first place.

When you check your bills, make sure you what you're being charged for is the service you receive.

Hidden Fees on My Checking Account

Another story about reviewing statements involves my business checking account for a while ago. I noticed a $5/month charge to my account a while back that I didn't remember signing up for. It turns out that it was a fee for downloading account information for Quicken. First off, I was a bit annoyed that it was a fee just to download the information. Plus not being told about it when I grabbed the file was a bit shady. I decided that the ‘service' was not worth it to me.

A simple email to customer service was able to adjust this to my account. It's not huge amount saved, but it comes out to $60/year for about 10 minutes of effort, not bad.

Checking Bills and Bank Statements

I don't think that banks and cable companies are out to get customers (ok, maybe a little 😛 ) but I do know that nobody cares about our money like we do. It's up to us to keep an eye out.  Have you've been able to save money by checking out your bills for extra charges? Have you had fees removed from your checking account?

Photo Credit: Michael David Pedersen

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

4 comments add your comment

  1. I try to go through my credit card purchases every couple of week online. If I wait until the end of the month I often can’t remember what I was buying. I’ve never found any incorrect charges on my account, though.

  2. I go through my bank ledger almost daily. I just did a deposit yesterday and I saw they noted a discrepency which I called on right away. If I waited even a few days, I would have probably forgotten some of the details, which could have made me miss something.

  3. This is a critical issue where I think many people are taken advantage of. My Internet service went up $2. Most people wouldn’t notice or care about a $2 increase but the fact that I was not notified is a principle issue for me. I will be contacting AT&T.


    WEEK ENDING 11/30/11

    Personal loan and interest paid


    CRAIGSLIST : $85
    Clothing $25
    Listing bonus $50

    AT&T REFUND: $30
    Pro-rated credit for canceling cell service and switching to pre-paid service

    I ended the month $897 over my original $1,000 goal for a total savings/income of $1,897! I seriously doubt I would have made the same progress without participating in this November Challenge.

    I only included my savings/earnings on this challenge. If I had included my husband we would be another $2,000 + over my original $1,000 goal. I would like to include my husband on the next challenge as it would have us working together on finances which has historically been me handling financial issues on my own.

    I would love to continue this monthly challenge with weekly check-ins. It’s a great way to motivate myself to look for more ways to increase my income and look for places that I can cut expenses. It’s the accountability factor that makes a big difference for me. Thank you so much for this opportunity Elle!