Looking for a quick, sustainable way to make a positive impact on your bottom line? A great place to begin is by examining your recurring monthly expenses – those automatically billed, month-in, month-out charges. We’ve launched a new feature called the Wesabe Cutback Tool designed to help you see and save on these memberships, subscriptions and fees.
The Cutback Tool looks for trends in your monthly spending, and flags recurring items on your account transaction page. Next, you’re asked if you’d like to cut back on these items, and are shown the resulting annual savings. If you choose to cut an expense, we’ll show you how long you have to cancel the service before you get charged again, and provide cancellation reminders.
You can track your progress on the Wesabe Cutback page, found on the left side of your Accounts page. The Cutback Summary page keeps track of suggested cutbacks, current cutbacks (those you said you want to axe), as well as any recurring monthly expenses you chose to keep.
In addition to helping find services you can cut out (dang, I haven’t been to the gym in three months) or cut back (do I really need 768 cable channels?), the Cutback Tool is also great at identifying ongoing fees or charges you may not even be aware you’re paying. Several beta testers reported charges of $14.95 for freecreditreport.com, a credit monitoring service they understandably thought was actually free (let’s see…wouldn’t $15amonthcreditreport.com be a more honest name?).
I took a look at my recurring expenses a few months ago (pre-Cutback Tool) and decided to cut Netflix (to avoid the wrath of the red envelope loyalists, let me clarify… I think this is a great service if you are watching movies, which I wasn’t doing). When it came time for me to try out Cutback, I figured it would flag my monthly Doctors Without Borders donation, which it did and I want to keep, as well as this darn $3.95-a-month Earthlink account that I need to cancel. But wait… my Cutback summary said I had a recurring $5 charge to Washington Mutual. Huh? Before firing off a “found a bug” email to Cutback engineer Brad, I checked out the expense.
Sure enough, WaMu has been dinging my savings account for the last six months. I had transferred money out of the account during the summer and haven’t touched the account since, so I wasn’t checking my statement. Ends up my account balance of $295 was below the “account minimum” of $300 (which I didn’t know about), so every month, I’ve been paying a fee. I know I should be more of a fine-print reader, but since I’m not, I’m sure glad the Cutback Tool caught this for me.