Automatic payments for charity: pros and cons

Dear Liz: You recently suggested people consider putting their charitable donations on automatic. While I have automatic deductions for savings because I do not want to constantly remind myself to do it, I want to remind myself of all other expenses. For me, prudent money management requires attention to all expenses. Your thoughts?

Answer: Many people find that automatic payments make their lives easier. They’re able to meet their obligations (and avoid late fees, in the case of bill payments) while minimizing time spent in repetitive tasks each month.

But none of your expenses should be “out of sight, out of mind.” Automatic payments don’t eliminate the need to carefully review your credit card and bank transactions each month. Reviewing your bills periodically, and making adjustments as necessary, is an important part of responsible money management regardless of whether you take advantage of automatic transfers.

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