Do you review your debit or credit card statements on a monthly basis to make sure what you were charged was actually the amount that you authorized? Each and every month, we compile our receipts here at the office, and we go through our statements to verify that what were charged was actually what we authorized in the first place. I often see people leaving a restaurant, crumpling up their receipt, and throwing it away. I know that those individuals never look at their statements, and maybe you’re one of those individuals.What I would recommend is that you start by keeping an envelope. Keep those receipts and put them in that envelope. At the end of the month, when you receive your bill (you may have to go online to print it), actually take some time and match them up because you will find errors periodically.
I was at the Chicago O’Hare Airport recently, and I went to a restaurant, ate, left an appropriate tip, and the entire bill came to $31.47 with tip. When my credit card statement came, it showed that I was actually charged $37.47. Somehow the $31 changed to a $37. This can happen periodically. We don’t always know how this happens, but I called the 1-800 number of my credit card company, and they reversed that charge. We also reached out to the company and sent them a letter showing the credit card statement and the actual receipt side-by-side.
This is really important because a lot of people just don’t realize there can be mistakes, whether honest mistakes or something fraudulent. Take the time to check your statements! In this case, it was only $6.00. What is $6 worth to you? It doesn’t take that much time to put receipts in an envelope and just double-check that the numbers are correct at the end of the month.
I would also recommend something that I used to do, but have fallen out of the habit of. I will have to start doing this again: when you are writing a receipt at a restaurant, we typically add the tip and total it up at the bottom. I would go one step further and treat that receipt like a check. Just below the total, write-out the total dollar amount just like you would a check:
$31.47 = $Thirty-one and 47/100.
This helps make it very clear to everyone what the true dollar amount is that you are authorizing. This is just one tip to be able to save money and not be taken advantage of in today’s technological world where everything is electronic, and we seldom, if ever, double-check our charges. If you like the way we think and want to get more tips to improve your financial life, then it’s time to schedule your Financialoscopy.