I know that we all have wasted money here and there. I will fully admit that I have a time or two. Most of the time it has been on accident but there have been times where I legit wasn’t able to make a payment on time…back in the day. I just had to accept it and suffer the consequences.
Now that I have dug myself out of living paycheck to paycheck and I am more financially conscious I try to avoid having any unnecessary expenses…at all costs. <<— Does that even make sense? LOL You know what I was trying to say. 🙂
I like to think that no one wants to waste money but sometimes we do. I was thinking maybe you just need a list of the top ways that either I have wasted money or ways that I have witnessed other people wasting money to open your eyes and NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY! Some of it is common sense and some of it you actually have to make a change in your life in order to not waste your money. Either way if you always try to be aware of these things you will always end up with more money in your pocket.
CHECKING ACCOUNT FEES
Free checking accounts seem to be rare these days. Make sure you aren’t being charged and don’t know it. Call a customer service rep at your financial institution. Sometimes they have certain requirements to get the account for free like signing up for E-statements. If you can’t avoid the fees then shop around for a new bank. There are still free ones out there.
I think that this is one of my pet peeves. Some people will know dang well that they do not have any money in their account but go into a store and buy something so minimal, like $3 to $4, with their debit card and end up paying an extra $34 in an overdraft fee. What the what??!?! This one is common sense. I know that most people do not keep a register of their account…shoot, I don’t even do that, but I do look at my account online or through the app and make sure I have money. If I’m getting low I just don’t use my debit card. I would rather pull out the little bit of cash and when it is gone it’s gone. I do not want to play around with overdraft fees — they add up real quick and then you will have yourself in a real negative situation.
AVOID LATE PAYMENTS
When people have multiple bills to pay I know that accidentally skipping one can happen. This is why it is a good idea to write down your bills each month and check them off as you pay them. I have a very sloppy spreadsheet log that has each of my pay dates for the whole year and under each pay date I list which bills I need to pay with that pay check. As soon as I pay it I highlight in yellow. You are looking at a $25-$35 late payment fee, not to mention the ding you will get on your FICO score.
This is a sneaky little trick that can get many people. For instance, I know someone who recently was duped into this. What happened was he used Equifax to check his credit report/score for free. Well it was one of those where after you received your free package you were then automatically signed up to receive monthly credit report updates at a cost of something around $30.00. You had to manually opt out of that yourself and I bet you can guess what happened… he never opted out. 6 months went by being charged $30 and he didn’t even realize it.
Lesson here: unless you know that you will opt out of whatever subscription you come across on time don’t bother taking advantage of any of the one time offers.
PROGRAM YOUR THERMOSTAT
This is one that I finally started doing a year ago. I know I know – it was stupid of me that there was a time I did not do this. It does save you money though. I live in Northern Indiana and we experience all seasons. During the day while we are at school and work we do not need so much heat or A/C. If you don’t have the ability to program your thermostat all you need to do is adjust it before you leave and then again when you come home.
QUIT UNHEALTHY HABITS
Quitting an unhealthy habit like smoking, drinking every single day, eating fast food every day or cutting out pop can save you tons of money. I realize this would be a hard change to make but the benefits are two-fold: you save money and your saving your health. The average price of a pack of cigarettes in Indiana is about $6.00. A pack a day will cost you about $2,190.00. Holy cow! This topic is personal to me because my dad smokes and the struggle is real. I know he wants to quit but it is so hard and I understand his struggle t to a point. My best advice is to never start.
Payday loans may seem so convenient and easy to get and if you can pay it back right away then you might be asking what the big deal is. Well typically your average payday loan customer is a low-income worker who is living paycheck to paycheck. The odds of a payday loan being paid back right away is small — and most of the time people find themselves extending it or just repeatedly taking payday loans. This eventually catches up to most people and causes them to sink further into debt. I personally think this should be illegal as I feel these places do more harm than good for people’s finances. On average, you will be charged $10-$15 per $100 borrowed for 2 weeks. If you can’t pay it back right away you can easily owe more than you borrowed. Don’t do it!
“He who fails to plan, plans to fail”
This is me! This is my struggle that I am working on. This can cover many areas that could end up costing you more money. For me though – it’s all about meal planning. I don’t plan meals which causes us to eat out often. I don’t even like eating out that much but I get caught up in it for the convenience. We have cut back on eating out but it still happens, especially during busy seasons. This can cost me any where from $20-$50 per week depending on how much or where we go. Ideally I’d love to eat out only 2 times a month but man oh man is that hard! I am working on it though.
If one would stop doing all of these things for a month, how much would they save?
Based on my situation and family size I would guess that if were wasting money by doing this list of things we could save around $300 per month.
Do any of you waste your money in these ways? Do you have other ways we could be wasting money…that we should stop doing!
photo via sharefaith