5 Money Mistakes a Daily Money Manager Can Find in 5 Minutes
Avoid These 5 Money Mistakes on Your Own
A Daily Money Manager (DMM) is a professional who helps those with various disabilities to manage their everyday financial and ‘business’ affairs. We pay bills, organize paperwork, and deal with creditors and other suppliers of services as an advocate for our clients. As such, we see bank account and credit card statements every day. These are some of the mistakes and omissions that I have seen and that you will save money by fixing if you are experiencing them.
This can cause problems for the parent if:
- the child was to start paying their own bills with the money in the account
- the child has or develops poor credit
When the parent dies the account will be owned by the named child only, perhaps not how you intend distribution in your will if you have multiple children. (Joint ownership transfers outside of a will.)
It can also cause problems for the child if:
- the parent begins having credit issues
- they or their children could otherwise qualify for aid or grants (college, etc.)
This is because a joint account is considered an asset of both parties.
- Duplicate services.
With a combination of a poor memory and a good salesperson, it can be easy to inadvertently sign up for say Verizon, when you already have Comcast, or to pay extra for long distance service when it is free with the account you have. I have had clients paying for multiple Medicare gap plans, for cell phones that were no longer in use, or car insurance on cars that had been sold. These are the kind of business affairs that become more difficult with aging. Much of the process is most easily handled via the internet, and many seniors lack the skills and equipment to cope.
- Late Payments
Life is busy and the months go faster and faster! It is very easy to slip on paying bills on time, each and every bill, each and every month. But the consequence of being late, is being fined. It can cost you $25 or more per late payment. It is better to automate payment than to keep forgetting and continue paying late fees. Get help with this if you need it. You still have to look at your statements.
- Unwanted subscriptions
Have you ever bought something only to realize that you are now getting charged monthly for a service you never wanted and didn’t know you were going to be getting? Sometimes you know there is a free cancellation period, but you just forgot to cancel. Other times, the fine print is what you missed and now you are paying, paying, paying. It can be very difficult just to find out how to cancel some of these subscriptions, but you need to do it.
- Duplicate payments of the same bill.
This is a relatively easy error to spot, and most reputable companies will either credit your account towards your next bill, or send you a check if there isn’t likely to be a next bill soon. Sometimes, it can damage your credit rating, wreak havoc with your cash for other bills, and be difficult to recover. Again, it pays to read your statements carefully each month and reconcile with your own records so you always know how much money you have available.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these issues and are having difficulty resolving them or they occur repeatedly, it is probably a signal that you should ask for help. If you don’t have a trusted family member who has the time and skills to help you, consider asking a daily money manager for assistance. You’ll be glad you did.