Why you should check your bills regularly

I reach gaily into the envelope, but my fingers don’tquite pull out the bill.

They remain clutched around it while my mind is seized – as it is every month – by my secret dream.

Do you want to know about my secret dream?

It’s based on a story I once read in the newspaper about a mix-up at a bank. I loved this story so much, I cut it out and stuck it onto my wardrobe door.

Two credit card bills were sent to the wrong people, and – get this – each person paid the wrong bill without realizing. They paid off each other’s bills without even checla’ng them.

And ever since I read that story, my secret dream has been that the same thing will happen to me.

Some dotty old woman in Cornwall will be sent my humungous bill and will pay it without even looking at it.

And I’ll be sent her bill for three tins of cat foodat 59p each.

Which, naturally, I’ll pay without question.

Fair’s fair, after all.

A smile is plastered over my face as I gaze out of the window. I’m convinced that this month it’ll happen – my secret dream is about to come true.

From: Sophie Kinsella – Secrets of a Shopaholic

This actually happened.

Someone I met paid a bill for $3000 on his card thinking his (ex)-wife spent the cash.

Then a couple of months later, he saw ANOTHER bill for $5000+, and it was only then that he realized that his ID had been stolen because he confronted his wife about her alleged spending habits, and strange transactions to stores he didn’t understand.

But that earlier $3000? Lost.

He paid the bill without checking, which means he assumed financial responsibility for those transactions.

He didn’t spend the $3000, he just saw it on his statement and figured his wife went on some spree.

How he didn’t at least check a couple of the line items and question his wife about the validity of them, is beyond me.

Then again, I am pretty crazy about entering my expenses on a daily basis and reconciling them with my online statements using my budget & expense tracking tool.

5 fast ways to help prevent ID theft

  • Check your bank statements. If not daily (I know, I’m a freak!), then monthly at the very least
  • Be careful when you use your cards, anywhere you go (keep your card in sight at all times)
  • Limit your online shopping — some websites can be easily hacked
  • …or at least use a third-party payment like Paypal that can offer another level of protection
  • Don’t save your passwords or any card numbers online — also easily hacked from your browser

You just never know when something like that could happen to you.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.