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"Gray Charges" Costing Americans Billions

We use our credit cards to shop, but we also use them to make automatic payments and that's where we're dropping the ball.

By Scott Budman
|  Thursday, Jul 25, 2013  |  Updated 6:53 PM PDT
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Scott Budman reports on something that is costing American's billions of dollars and they get no benefit from the money spent.

Scott Budman reports on something that is costing American's billions of dollars and they get no benefit from the money spent.

We all do it.

Charge it and forget it.

But losing track of that old gym membership, or that subscription for a magazine you haven't read in years, is costing Americans $14 billion a year.

That's about as much money as eBay makes each year.

We use our credit cards to shop, but we also use them to make automatic payments and that's where we're dropping the ball.

So-called "gray charges," where we pay for things we no longer use, like the gym, or that magazine subscription, cost us on average, $215 each per year.

That money is lost, not because of fraud or theft, but because we're not paying close enough attention.

It's our fault, really.

But now, there's high-tech help in the form of an app. It’s a high-tech way to not just keep track of what you're spending, but what you're spending and not using.

The app is called "Billguard" and it will track the most common credit card mistakes, and warn you, before you make them.

That $14 billion dollar figure, as cited by security companies today, is getting a lot of attention. It has a lot of people reaching for their phones, for help.

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