For the last 10 years, I ‘ve been using a spreadsheet that I diligently keep up to date. This spreadsheet only has our monthly recurring expenses. I like to nag Mr. Miser monthly to make sure my numbers are correct. Anytime something goes up we call the company and try to haggle them down to the previous price. In the last year, we’ve had numerous credit cards in an attempt to travel hack and accumulate awards. All these cards caused us to fail to realize we were paying a monthly fee for Amazon services we didn’t know we had. Show Time on Amazon was somehow added to our account as a free trial and we NEVER used it. Then they started charging us a monthly fee of $10 for something we didn’t know existed. This has been going on for a year. At the same time, we realized my Audible membership (which was a very thoughtful gift) had expired and was now costing me $15 per month. Luckily, with Audible, I was only 2 months in and I can keep the credits if I pay $10 for a year membership. I do enjoy having Audible available for the books I can’t get quickly at the library AND they do have a lot of free books. At the same time, I refuse to pay money without realizing. It’s a frugal principle.
Reflecting back on this mistake makes me want to warn all of you out there. As ridiculous as I am with our recurring expenses, we still let these slip by. You often hear advice about canceling the gym membership you have but don’t use but you rarely hear about surprise memberships you forgot you are paying for. It’s not uncommon to sign up for a free trial and then immediately be charged the next month for something you don’t get value out of. Let this be a lesson pull up your credit card statement and make sure you recognize EVERY SINGLE CHARGE. It may only be a few dollars but over the year it adds up. We lost $150 for no reason other than being disorganized. Please don’t let this happen to you.