Clutter drives me nuts, whether it’s the house, the garden or my bank account!
I don’t feel entirely happy unless everything we have kicking around the place is useful and used often enough to be worth hanging on to. And autumn, being a new season, is the perfect time to turf out all the stuff we just don’t need.
What does it mean for my bank account? I like to go through the Direct Debits and Standing Orders attached to my account and cancel the ones that are no longer ‘live’. It’s probably silly, but I like to be 100% sure nobody can take money out when they shouldn’t, and the only way to certain it is get rid of the DDs and SOs altogether.
It’s easy if you can access your account online. I just go in and tick the ‘delete’ box next to each DD and it’s done. Last time I did it, at the beginning of the summer, I discovered I was somehow paying two DDs for the same insurance policy (duh) and managed to close one DD down before they took any money out. So it was well worth doing. I could have reclaimed the money, but the way the world works it’s almost always easier to give cash away than get it back!
If you don’t have an online account, either phone up or write and ask for a list of the DDs and SOs on your account and do it the old fashioned way.
If I want to change suppliers, for example switch our energy provider to get a better deal, I cancel the existing DD with the bank first so I’m sure it’s dead, then tell the supplier, just in case there are delays at their end and they end up taking more cash out.
It’s worth knowing that all Direct Debits come with a guarantee. If the amount or date you pay changes you’ll be told at least 10 working days before the payment is take. If the bank makes any mistakes, you’re guaranteed a full and immediate refund.
I reckon over the years I’ve saved a lot of money by checking my DDs and SOs regularly. It helps me decide which services I genuinely need and those I don’t, and stops my account leaking money unnecessarily.
(Thanks to http://www.sxc.hu/profile/lusi for the free image)