From streaming subscriptions to gym memberships, there are more and more automatic payment services that bill you at regular intervals. Here’s how to manage recurring payments so you can keep track of your cash flow and avoid late payments.
How do recurring payments work?
Recurring billing is a payment model where bills are paid out of your bank account on a set billing cycle. This payment method can be used for everything from your credit card to your cable account. Automation makes paying bills quick and convenient—but it also makes it very easy to lose track of your cash flow.
Digital tools help you manage your cash flow
The good news is, there are tools you can use to manage your recurring payments. Start by taking stock of where and when your money is coming and going. Go through your bank account and notice when more is being taken out than you have coming in. Then you can figure out why that’s happening.
Automatic Bill Pay and Transfers
With that in mind, you can set up automatic payments based on each subscription services’ billing cycle. If you have a mortgage through Navy Federal Credit Union, using HomeSquad (our mortgage portal) to set up online payments is your best bet. For other Navy Federal loans, such as credit cards, you can use the Transfers feature through online banking to schedule customer payments up to a year in advance. For other service providers, such as utilities and subscription businesses, use Bill Pay, which lets you set up payees (like your landlord or small businesses) for easy payment processing. Automatic payments will help you avoid late payments on monthly fees.
Card on File
Navy Federal’s recurring billing system Card on File allows you to manage payment options in one place. You can track your subscription billing and payment schedule, and you can even quickly update your payment details when you get a new card. If you want to switch to a new credit or debit card, you don't need to sign in to each merchant’s account or payment processor to update their payment system—simply update your Card on File.
The simplest tool of all? Activate email, text or mobile push notifications to tell you when your account is low. With these digital tools, you’ll soon find it as easy to stay on top of recurring payments as it was to set them up in the first place.
- Recurring payments automate your bills, but you still need to track where your money is going. Use our Monthly Spending Calculator to track expenses.
- It can be useful to track your various recurring payments in one place on your phone. Read a review of various apps for that purpose and try one out. Then, look back at your account with us to confirm your findings.
This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.