Money expert Martin Lewis is urging people to take up a challenge – and it’s one that could save them hundreds of pounds.
He says it is simple to find out if you could be one of the people who could make savings.
All you need is access to a phone and five minutes and you could take advantage of his advice, reports The Mirror
Speaking on BBC Radio 5Live’s Ask Partin Lewis Podcast, he said: “The challenge is this. I’m laying down the gauntlet.
“I want to know how many of you are wasting cash, letting money drip from your bank account without knowing, and it is all about regular payments.”
“While listening, log into your online banking and go through your standing orders and direct debits. See what’s there.”
And when listeners tried it, many saved hundreds.
Louise managed to save £100 a month in five minutes by stopping paying bill for a phone she no longer has and a subscription she didn’t even know if she still received, reports the Daily Express.
Meanwhile, Rob hadn’t realised he was paying £15 a month for the past six months for a website he’s only accessed once.
But not all subscriptions are equal, Martin warned.
There are several types of regular payment, including standing orders, direct debits and recurring payments.
“With the first two, they come from your bank account, with a recurring payment, it’s where you give the long number on a credit or debit card,” Martin explained.
“So it can be done via a debit card and effectively what you’re doing is you’re giving the permission to the firm to take a payment each month – so a recurring payment – but it’s not broken out anyway.
“It can often be difficult to stop – you have a right to stop with your bank.”
With standing orders and direct debits things are a little simpler.
Martin explained that there are apps that help people check what recurring payments they have – rather than doing this manually.
As to what you should cut, Martin said sometimes it would be obvious – such as payments for services they long since haven’t had. An example of this is paying to insure a fridge for a house they left years ago.
He said: “The next category is things you don’t need but you sort of want, is it worth it?”
And, when it comes to essential outgoings – such as energy bills and broadband – while you might not be able to ditch the payment, that doesn’t mean you can’t switch to someone cheaper.
“Is it as cheap as you can [get?]” Martin asked.