Direct debits have the audacity to show up and mess up your budget especially when you have forgotten about them. I was quite annoyed when I went to do my groceries only to find that the account balance was more than the available balance. My focus was on the amount I expected to be in the bank.
The good thing is I always verify my balance before shopping, otherwise I was going to have a card declined at the till. Imagine everything has been scanned and groceries are in the trolley. That would be such an inconvenience for me as well as the people in the queue
I do not have a credit card just in case you are wondering why I did not swipe it. This is basically a choice I made. However I know people who use them and it works for them.
I prefer to use what I have that’s all.
So I found myself in this predicament because I had forgotten to follow up the cancellation of the direct debit as the commitment was only for a year. The year was over but money was still coming out of the bank account. To be honest I am not really fond of direct, though they are good so that a very important bill like in my case kid’s school fees is not missed but an inconvenience at the same time if you forget to factor them in the budget. This actually means the budget will not be matching what is in the bank account.
My solution is to maintain a balance see below:
- Everything in moderation hence minimise the number and amounts of direct debits and that way it gives me more control over my money.
- Make sure they are small amounts which I definitely know will not affect my budget that much if I happen to miss it.
- Always leave a buffer in the bank account for any miscellaneous things that show up and the creepy, daring, audacious minor amounts direct debits.
- Set direct debits only for fixed amounts instead of amounts that vary. For instance if you usually pay $50per month, then all of a sudden the bill is $500 and direct debit comes out. The budget will get messed. Who knows where the grocery money will come from?
If you have kids like me, when they say they are hungry you need to provide food not explanations about the status of the bank account
- Again back to minimising daring direct debits, for instance if a direct debit goes out for a bill you are disputing. This puts you in an awkward position because you are trying to get a refund which might take time to be processed but in the meantime kids need food, mortgage or rent needs to be paid etc.
Feel free to leave comments below or share the article with others as I do not want someone else to find themselves in the position I was it on this day.
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Thank you for reading,
Love & Blessings,