Sometimes, even when we try our best to save money, we don’t realize that there are holes and leaks in our finances. It’s not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about since most of us don’t even know about it. Quite often we don’t know that we’re wasting money in small ways that can have a large impact on our finances. Here are 14 ways that many people waste money.
Not Checking Your Insurance Rates Yearly
Sometimes people don’t realize they’re overpaying for their insurance, whether it’s their homeowner’s insurance, life insurance, or property insurance. Comparing rates is always a good idea to help you find the best rate that fits your requirements. You may also want to consider checking rates every year and assessing if your current insurance provider is still the best deal.
Not Using Credit Card Points or Rewards And Frequent Flyer Miles
By forgetting, or not using your points, rewards or frequent flyer miles, you may be missing out on items or services that you could have gotten in exchange for your reward points. Be aware of the validity period of your reward points so you won’t forget to put them to good use before they expire.
Not Programming Your Thermostat
You can save on energy bills if you program your thermostat carefully. It only takes minutes to do this, but it can have a profound impact on your household expenses. Your heating and cooling bills can be reduced in the long run.
Not Taking Advantage of Community Resources
Instead of hiring a private swimming coach or dance instructor, you can check out your local community center for available classes and groups.
Learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby doesn’t have to be expensive.
Not Paying Bills On Time
You can avoid those late charges by paying your bills on time. These late fees may not seem like a lot if you’re late once or twice, but even so, paying those late charges is definitely a waste of money.
Not Unplugging Your Electronics When Not In Use
Appliances or electronics that are plugged in still consume power even when they are not in use. You can save money on energy bills by making sure to unplug them when you’re not using them.
I use to know a guy that unplugged everything in his home every night before he went to sleep, including his TV.
I’m not suggesting you go that far, but if you really need to save money, that will make a difference.
Buying Bottled Water
As I'm sure you already know, bottled water is more expensive than tap water. So why do so many of us continue to buy bottles of water every week?
You can save a lot by investing in a water filter and using tap water instead of bottled water.
Subscribing To Premium Cable or Satellite Television
These days, depending on where you live, you can watch some television shows and full movies on the Internet for free or for a cheaper monthly fee. Most networks also have streaming on their websites so you won’t miss your favourite shows.
Dining Out Too Often
Everybody knows dining out can be expensive. Cooking meals at home is definitely cheaper than going out and eating at restaurants.
If you really can’t live without it, try only going a few times a year, perhaps for special occasions only.
Buying Brand Name Products or Luxury Brands
Sometimes we just like buying products with those brand names that we know so well.
Although sometimes it’s worth it to buy a certain brand, for basic items there are cheaper alternatives that are of the same quality as the branded ones.
This is especially true of medicines. Instead of buying a brand name version of your meds, you can save a lot by choosing generic drugs.
Engaging In Costly Activities Such As Smoking, Drinking and Gambling
Smokers, drinkers and gamblers spend a lot on their vices. These can affect not only one’s health but also one’s finances.
Imagine how much money you could have in your savings account if you didn’t spend it on cigarettes or alcohol.
Costly Cell Phone Plans
Sometimes people don’t realize that they are paying for things that they don’t actually use.
Paying for unlimited data services may not be so cost efficient if you are only using half of what you are paying for every month.
Recognizing your requirements and customizing your phone plans to fit your needs may save you some money.
Shopping Without a List
Going to the supermarket without a list or a plan can result in impulse purchases that are outside your budget. Making a list and sticking to it helps control your budget and helps manage your expenses.
Another thing that we do to make sure that we only buy what we need is to challenge ourselves to get in and out of the grocery store as quickly as possible.
Paying For Services Or Products You Don’t Use
Most of us are guilty of having all these memberships or subscriptions that we don’t even need or use. Maximize that gym membership by actually going to the gym regularly.
Otherwise, cancel your membership and try working out at home. If you have magazine or newspaper subscriptions, you can check online to see if the issues are available for free. Again, a few dollars here and there can add up quickly.
For those of you that are naturally frugal many of the above suggestions are most likely already part of your normal routine. But for those of you that are not frugal by nature, like me, it is good to be reminded of the different ways that we can all save money.