Check on your recurring payments in PayPal

In the too-narrowly-titled post “Job seekers: Beat the holiday blues,” Friday Goody Bag recommended auditing your life for subscriptions you ought to cancel (gym memberships and the like). Recently, we found an easy and eye-opening way to protect yourself from phantom subscriptions – and more.

If you have a PayPal account, it may be tied to one or more “Recurring payments.” These may include subscriptions (remember that language you were going to learn?) Alarmingly, they may include vendors that you only remember authorizing to debit you once.

To manage these payments, log into your PayPal account. Open “Settings” by clicking the gear next to where it says “Log Out” on the top right of your screen. Once you arrive on the “Settings” screen, click “Payments.” You’ll see a large button that says “Manage automatic payments.” You can take it from here, but don’t forget to click “View more”!

When I did this, I found an astonishing number of former vendors, including Dropbox (for an account I had cancelled in 2017) and a company I may have bought a tee shirt from in 2014. Just because you cancel an account with a vendor doesn’t mean that PayPal takes them out of your account. So it’s a good idea to do this a few times a year even if you are using that gym subscription.