Memberships and their fees often sneak up on us and before we know it. We don’t realize it until our bank accounts reflect a membership has been charged and renewed automatically. Since these types of memberships are so prevalent, keeping track of all of them and their cancellation or renewal dates seems daunting. Finding a method to alert you is the best way to save time and money so you are not paying for something you no longer need or want. Here are 7 ideas on how to keep track.
- When to cancel. Whenever you sign up for any kind of membership, whether it is a monthly “free” trial or an annual membership, find out when the date of cancellation will be. Always check the rules for any membership to see what will happen when the sign up period is over. Will they automatically charge your bank account, notify you by mail or email, or will it just be automatically renewed?
- Make a note of it. Once you find out when the date is to cancel, write it down! The best way not to forget it later is to make note of it right away at the beginning. Write it on your calendar so you’ll see it on the month or week that it is due.
- Link it to another event. If it is right before a birthday, anniversary or holiday, make a mental note that this membership needs to be cancelled before then. Linking it to an event that you will always remember may trigger it in your mind when that date approaches.
- Use a personal organizer. This can be an old-fashioned paper daily calendar or an electronic device. Use it to put all of your important dates, personal and business, in one place and check it daily. Make sure you add your membership cancellation dates in along with everything else you need to remember.
- Give yourself time. When you put in your date of cancellation, add a reminder at least one week prior. Who knows what will be going on in a month or year from now? Give yourself two dates, the reminder date and the actual date so you make sure not to miss it due to other things going on in your life.
- Set up alerts. Most devices and many types of software have alerts available. Whether it is on your cell phone or a software program such as Outlook, set up alerts for the reminder and cancellation dates for memberships. These actually pop up and make you aware without you having to check the calendar.
- Have a back up. Whatever organizer or calendar you have, considering using a back up method. If you use paper, get an online calendar as well. If you use your phone, see if you can sync it with you home computer calendar. Having your important dates, including your cancellation dates, in two places makes it less likely you will lose this information or let the date pass unnoticed.
Whatever method you choose, make sure it is somewhere you look every day. It does not matter if you write it down or put it in your computer if you still do not see it until it is too late. Planning ahead when it is fresh on your mind will keep you from inadvertently allowing these types of memberships to renew when you no longer have need for them.