Remember to Pause Your Memberships

Credit: Drums Alive

Just because you’re not going doesn’t mean they aren’t charging you.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started in earnest back in March, many membership-based businesses like gyms, classes, and clubs closed up shop. Even as some of these businesses start to reopen, you really shouldn’t leave the house unless you actually need to. We’re not here to talk about your health, though, we’re here to talk about your membership fees.

Many membership businesses, once they saw the writing on the wall, automatically paused membership fees for their members, since they wouldn’t be using their services. I say “many” because there are some stragglers out there that, whether due to negligence or lack of scruples, let those membership fees keep on coming. The thing about recurring fees is that when they’re part of your regular financial load for long enough, you may forget that you’re still paying them. Unless you’ve been deliberately going over your finances with a fine-toothed comb, there’s a chance a recurring fee is still bleeding you.

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Whether you’re on hard times or not, there’s no reason to be paying for a service you’re not using. Check your most recent bank statements to see what’s drawing from your account. If there’s anything you haven’t used in a while, call them up and request to pause your membership. Once things calm down out there, you can start it back up, but until then, that money is best saved. If it’s only one or two things and you’re only saving a hundred bucks or so, just keep it in your checking account for a rainy day. If you’ve got a decent chunk of cash coming back to you, reinvest it in a high-yield savings account. You’ll be thankful for every dollar you saved in the event things get hairy (or hairier than they are now, I guess).

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5 months ago