How often should you audit your automatic withdrawals?

Did you ever sign up for a service and forget to cancel?

Do you remember the Columbia House and BMG music clubs?   When CDs where king, they used to run ads promising 12 CDs for a penny, and after fulfilling a certain contract, members could cancel at any time.  For many teenagers, it seemed like a great way to build a music collection. They were practically giving music away for free!
Many of us got sucked in by the initial offer, and many of us discovered it was a lot harder to cancel than we expected.   These music clubs made their money off of all of the teens who couldn’t cancel, got sent “CDs of the Month” that they didn’t really want, and ended up owing more money than they’d planned for a service they no longer wanted.  It was a brilliant, if somewhat shady, business plan.  It’s a good thing we’ve all learned our lesson, right?

Fast forward to today. You’re busy. You’re working to increase your knowledge base, serve your patients, and run your practice.  You go to a trade show or a seminar, and someone has a great new service that seems tailor-made to your needs.  There’s a generous introductory offer, followed by fairly low monthly or annual fees. You’d be a fool not to give it a try!  You sign up, use it for a few months, and gradually use it less and less. Over time, you forget you ever subscribed.

It’s such a small amount, you may not realize the impact that the subscription, along with all the other long-forgotten services, is having on your bottom line.

So, consider this your annual reminder.   Audit your monthly and annual withdrawals. 

Right now, you’re getting ready for taxes and looking at where all that money went. Now is the time to find out how much you’re paying for each service, how often your account is billed, and if your team still considers the service a necessity.

We learned our lessons as teens. The BMG and Columbia House music clubs eventually went out of business as music switched to streaming and their core markets grew up and became savvier.   Don’t repeat the same mistakes with your practice!  Take a little extra time, and audit your automatic withdrawals every six months to a year.