Beware the automatic payment

bank machineScanning my email account I spotted it “Your Statement has been created”. I popped open the email and scanned, my eyes stopping at “Your credit card will be automatically charged”.

The automatic, recurring payment. One of the big challenges to successfully tracking your money and staying on budget (whether in your life or business).

Why?

Because the automatic, recurring payment prevents you from being in control of the flow of money through your life or business. By setting the payment on autopilot money comes in, and money goes out, without it ever passing through your hands (even digitally) and your decision making process. You no longer get “a feel” for how your business is functioning. You are no longer clear on where money is going, where it is being wasted, and where it can be saved.

Even worse, you will eventually forget (or ignore) that the automatic payment is even happening. It is as if that payment no longer even exists, and you can end up paying for it, even if you no longer need the service or product you are paying for.

I know because I have done it

Almost two years. That is how long, at one point in my business, I paid, every month, for a webinar account that I wasn’t using. The payment came out of my account every month. I would make note of it. Tell myself that I “might” need it next month, and let the account continue.

Over that two years, I used the account, maybe two or three times. But it was just easier to keep the account open, with the automatic payment, than take the time to close it, and reopen it if I needed it later. (And yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds, but it is true, and you may be doing it too)

Making an automatic payment for that software had disconnected the money from my brain and from the money flow in my business, and I had stopped paying attention and making intelligent choices with that money.

What can you do?

There is one quick solution to prevent yourself from falling into the automatic, recurring payment trap:

Disable the auto-payment function on all recurring payments, and make those payments manually


Recurring payments are a fact of life and business, but in many cases making the payment automatic isn’t required. So turn off auto-payments.

This will bring the money back under your control, and you can start making intelligent choices with that money again. Now, you get to make a choice about spending that money when:

  • you open and read the statement
  • you login to the payment site
  • you enter your credit card information
  • you submit the payment

The automatic payment leaves you zero chances to make a decision about where your money is going. By turning automatic payments off, you now have (at least) four spots in the process where you will need to review your decision on how to use your money.

More control leads to more and better choices, and a better understanding of how money moves through your business and life.

Give it a try. Turn off all of your automatic payments, directly interact with that money, and see the difference it makes in the choices you make in your business.

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