Automatic withdrawal is like playing a banking game of Russian roulette

The other day, I learned a valuable lesson: automatic withdrawals may make paying bills easier, but they can really turn your life into a financial nightmare. So I'm sharing my little tale of woe, in hopes of inspiring anyone else out there to stop and think before they agree to an automatic withdrawal.

I've been writing about bank fees for WalletPop quite a bit lately (like in this post and here), and while the fees themselves are egregious and punitive beyond belief, it is helpful to remember that quite often, the reason the fees are being lodged is that the bank user screwed up.

In my case, I knew something was up with my bank account when my wife called me from her cell phone and asked: "Did you know our checking account was $50 in the negative?"

From the agonized scream that followed, my wife said, "I'm guessing not."