7 things you waste money on

Over time, even the most budget-conscious consumers may find themselves spending more than they need on certain expenses.

1. Bank fees

Whether you pay fees to withdraw money from an ATM outside the network or pay monthly service fees just to have a checking account, small fees can add up to a significant amount of money wasted over time. The average monthly fee for non-interest checking accounts (excluding free checking accounts) last year was just over $ 5 according to a bank rate survey, while the fee for interest-bearing checking accounts was more than $ 16 for those who did not meet the requirements to waive the fee.
How does inflation affect my standard of living?

Cut the waste: Change bank. Nearly half of checking accounts do not have monthly maintenance fees at all, according to Bankrate. The cost of monthly fees, if you are unable to avoid them with your current bank, probably outweighs any interest you get paid on that account.

2. Sale items you do not need

There is no doubt about the excitement you get when you buy an item for less than its typical price. But spending money on something you do not need just because it is on sale can quickly lead to overspending.

Cut the waste: The next time you are tempted to buy something on sale, wait 24 hours before making the purchase. Often, the initial tension disappears by getting a deal and you will be able to walk away from the transaction.

3. Subscriptions you do not use

A Chase survey last year found that more than 70% of consumers wasted more than $ 50 a month on recurring payments for things they did not need or want. One culprit for this, said Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst at DealNews, is that people often sign up for free trial periods and then fail to cancel when the trial period expires.

“These things are put on autopay and then people do not even realize that they are paying for something they do not even use,” adds Ramhold. “It’s an easy way to throw money out the window.”

Cut the waste: Even if you have your credit cards set to automatic payment (which is a smart way to avoid late payment charges), carefully review your bank statement each month and cancel any charges for goods or services you do not use.

4. Food waste

Up to 40% of food in the United States is never eaten, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. While the amount of food your family throws out may be lower, we are all guilty of having to throw away vegetables that withered or leftovers after a dinner out.

Cut costs: Look through your refrigerator before heading out to the supermarket. Then plan your meals (and your shopping list) around the items you already have. That way, you will not only be sure to use these items before they get bad, but also less likely to buy new groceries that go to waste.

5. Extended warranties

While extended warranties on your car, appliances or other electronic devices can offset the cost of future repairs, they are not always a big deal for consumers, according to Ramhold. Sometimes the cost of the plan will exceed the cost of any repairs, or it does not cover the problem you have, Ramhold said. Plus, many credit cards include extended warranty coverage for some purchases, so you may have to pay for coverage you already have.

How much should I spend on emergency savings?

Cut the waste: Instead of paying for an extended warranty, consider directing your extra money toward an emergency account that you can use to cover the cost of repairs should they occur. If you already have a fully funded emergency account, you may be able to skip this expense altogether.

6. Overpayment for insurance

Like most other services, the price of home and car insurance typically increases over time, but if you have been with the same provider for several years, it may be a good idea to shop around to see if you can find a better price.

“New customers are getting new customer deals,” said consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch. “You may be able to find a policy that offers the same or better coverage for less.”

Cut the waste: Check online sites like TheZebra.com or Policygenius to get insurance quotes. If you are happy with your current coverage and provider, you may be able to use these deals as ammunition in negotiations for a better price.

Other ways to cut your bill: Collect home and car insurance with the same provider, or increase your deductible. By doing these two things, Woroch said she was recently able to cut her insurance bill by $ 1,100 a year.

7. Credit card interest rates

How long will it take to pay off my credit cards?
High-interest debt and credit card fees cost US households an average of $ 1,000 a year, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While credit cards can be a useful tool, they become an expensive burden that can drag down your finances when you have a balance.

Cut the waste: If you have debt, focus on repaying your existing balance and putting your cards on ice for now.

“If you have a problem with credit card debt, it’s probably a good time to put the card away and use the cash method instead, or use a debit card,” advised Ramhold.

An earlier version of this story mistaken the name of the insurance site TheZebra.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *