How many times have you said that you want to save more money or spend less money? It’s a goal many people have at one point or another, but how do you cut back on spending when you feel like you’re pretty good at this budgeting thing?
There are a few hidden ways you’re throwing away money, and you probably don’t even realise it. It’s easy to get complacent with these things and not even notice how much money is being spent unnecessarily.
Check out these ways you’re throwing away money and see if you can cut back on any of them.
1 – Paying Bank Fees
Are you still paying a monthly account keeping fee for your bank account? How archaic!! There are so many banks out there that offer zero account keeping fees and have a bunch of other perks too.
Moving banks can be annoying, but if you’re paying just $5 a month, and have 3 accounts, that’s $180 a year in fees gone. Bye, bye!
2 – Paying Late Payment Fees
There is literally nothing good about having to pay a late payment fee, and if you’re managing your money properly, then there’s no excuse for them either.
Get yourself a separate bills account, put enough money in there each paycheck to cover all of your bills, and a bit of a buffer too, then make sure your bills are direct debited out of this account.
This way you never pay a bill late and you never have to pay a late payment fee (great for your credit rating too!).
3 – Paying Interest On Your Credit Card
If you can’t pay the balance of your credit card out each month, and you have to pay interest on your credit card, then you shouldn’t have it.
Some credit cards offer extended interest free periods, which is great and it may mean that you don’t have to pay the complete balance out at the end of each month. BUT, you still need to make sure the balance is taken care of before the interest kicks in.
Credit card interest is insanely high and you’re literally throwing money away when you’re having to pay it (plus it makes it that much harder to ever get out of debt).
4 – Buying Coffee Every Day
Addicted to your daily latte on the way to the office? You’re not the only one. But at roughly $5 a pop, 5 days a week, your take away caffeine addiction could be setting you back $1300 a year!
Instead, buy yourself a fancy coffee machine, a pretty take away coffee cup and make your coffee at home before you leave for work. Sure, the coffee machine might be a bit of an outlay at first, but they last years (especially if you clean it properly and treat it well) and with some good quality coffee, they taste way better than the takeaway stuff anyway.
5 – Not Shopping Around
You don’t have to spend hours going from store to store to compare prices. Just search online to find the best price. You can even go to your preferred store and ask if they will price match. A lot of electronics stores will price match and some stores will even offer to beat the price by up to 10%.
Installing the Ebates browser extension means you can also get cashback on your purchases. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical to start off with, thinking it wouldn’t actually be worth it, but then I started getting cashback on things I was purchasing anyway (like Amazon) and it was a no-brainer.
6 – Overpaying For Insurance
When was the last time you shopped around for a cheaper/better value deal on your insurances?
Remember, you don’t need to take the policy the insurance company tries to sell you. Take your time to actually look through the policy, work out what it is you need and what you don’t and get the insurance policy and coverage that suits you.
Use your insurance renewal date as a reminder to shop around and find the best deal for you. Also, increasing your co-pay or excess can reduce your overall premiums, which may be an option if your insurance isn’t something you often claim on.
Tip: keep your insurance excess or co-pay amount in your emergency fund as a minimum and you’ll know that if anything were to happen and you had to make a claim, you have the money ready to go.
7 – Letting Your Fresh Produce Spoil
Letting fresh produce go to waste is such a money drain! You don’t have to stop buying fresh produce. You just have to be a bit more savvy about how you use it.
First of all, know how to store your fresh produce properly. It can be the difference between your food lasting a few days or lasting a week.
Another thing you can do is to just buy what you need for the next few days. Which means you’ll have to shop more frequently (which leads to more temptation to buy more things you don’t need) or most places offer delivery of groceries, the cost of which is often offset by the additional spending you’ll avoid by not going to the store.
8 – Not Meal Planning
Meal planning really does help keep the overspending under control. You can even meal plan from your cupboard if you have a whole heap of excess you need to use. Creating a shopping list from your meal plan and sticking to it is absolute gold.
9 – Not Tracking Your Finances
How much money did you spend last week? And what did you spend it on exactly? If you’re not tracking your expenses you’re pretty much throwing money away (and not even looking at where you’re throwing it).
Knowing what your expenses are, when your bills are due and what you spend your money on can help you avoid additional fees and charges and help you to reduce excess spending in areas you may not have even realised were a problem.
If you start to think of your income and expenses in the way a business would, you’ll get a much better grasp on where the money is going and how to manage it. Pretty much like a profit and loss statement for your personal finances.
Most of these are simple yet effective tweaks you can make to how you manage your money and how you pay attention to what you spend. You could save a small fortune each year by simply not throwing away money.