Most of the time we know when we are spending more money then we should. It’s no secret that buying Starbucks coffee every day and eating out instead of cooking at home causes you to spend more money.
These types of guilty little pleasures are the first to go when it’s time to get serious about fixing our finances.
But what about hidden money leaks that you may not be as obvious?
You might not know it but there are common ways that you are wasting money that might seem small at first but really add up over time.
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10 Things You’re
Probabley Wasting Money On
#1 Bank Fees
Monthly maintenance fee, ATM fees, overdraft fees, and insufficient funds fees are all changes that everyone has experienced. But have you thought about how much you have spent in banking fees over the course of a year?
Studies have shown that checking accounts have an average annual cost of $97.80 in fees. In 10 years, the average cost is $978, and in 20 years it’s $1,956.
If you add in overdraft fees and insufficient funds
Regardless of these facts there are ways to limit the amount of money you waste on bank fees. Here are a few ways to save money on back fees.
- Choose a free checking account. Many of these have no monthly fees and offer various free services or pay interest.
- Avoid ATM fees by getting cash back using your debit card when making purchases at stores.
- If you have to use an ATM choose an in-network ATM that will not result in an ATM fee.
- Set low-limit alerts for your bank accounts to help keep you from high overdraft fees.
#2 Late Fees
Late fees are another hidden way that you might be wasting tons of your hard earned money. You can experience late fees on any of your bills.
Electricity, gas, water, cable TV, cell phone, mortgage, rent, and car notes are all examples of regular living expenses that can incur late fees.
If you pay a $10 late fee every month for a year you are wasting $120 a year. Now imaging paying a $50 late fee on something like your rent of mortgage. This causes you to waste a whopping $600 a year.
Paying your bills on time ensures that you are not wasting money on unnecessary late fees.
If you notice that you are regularly in a situation where you do not have enough money to pay your bills on time it is time to create a budget and eliminate services that you can not afford.
#3 Unnecessary Electricity
Electricity definitely goes in the needs category when it comes to expenses. However, did you know that you are wasting money on electricity?
Turning off lights when they are not being used something we all have heard. Normally from our mom and dads as we grew up.
But using lights unnecessary is not the only way that you can waste money on electricity. Every item plugged into an electrical outlet is drawing power. Even if it is off.
You could be spending $20 to $30 more on your electricity bill each month due to items that are not in use. Over the course of a
Unplugging electrical appliances that are not being used will help you stop wasting money on electricity. To make things easier, use a power strip or smart strip to allow you to “really” turn appliances off that are not being used.
#4 Wasteful Laundry Habits
The average American family goes through 400 loads of laundry a year. Believe it or not, the way you do your laundry could be causing you to waste a lot of money.
If you do your laundry at home in a top loading washer using hot water, name brand detergent, and then dry in an electric dryer you could be spending roughly $600 a year on laundry.
Name brand high cost laundry detergents, fabric softners, and sent boosters are often a big waste of money. Lower cost off branded laundry products will produce the same results when washing your clothes.
It is also not necessary to wash your clothes in hot water. Cold water will get your clothes just as clean while saving you money on electricity and water. By switching to cold water you can save about $140 per year.
If you really want to make a dent in your laundry costs, switch to line drying the majority of your clothes. This one is a stretch for most but it will definitely cut your costs.
By switching to a high efficiency front loading washer, using a cheaper laundry detergent, and using cold water you could reduce your annual laundry cost by as much as $500.
#5 Name Brand Medications
Name brand medications are truly a waste of money. Generic medications provide the same results as their name brand alternatives for up to 80% less in some cases.
Wasting money on name brand medications provides you no medical benefits. They simply drain money from your pockets with no added benefits.
#6 Uneaten Food
Wasting food is just like throwing money down the drain. The average U.S. household in America wastes $1,350 to $2,275 worth of food each and every year, according to the National Resource Defense Council.
Trowing away left overs, letting food go bad in your refrigerator, and simply buying food you never cook are all ways that you could be wasting money on food.
Meal planning is a great way to keep you on track and on budget when it comes to food. With the right planning you can ensure that the food you purchase is proper allocated to meals that will actually be eaten.
Here are some other ways to remedy wasting food:
- Taking your dinner leftovers to work with you for lunch
- Do not go grocery shopping while you are hungry
- Always grocery shop using a list to reduce impulse buys
- Properly store frozen food so that it doesn’t go bad
#7 Bottled Water
Despite the fact that bottled water sales increase 10% each year, buying bottled water is a complete waste of your money. Most people buy bottled water because they feel it is safer to drink and that it tastes better.
Tap water is more strictly regulated then bottled water. Bottled water is in fact subject to fewer filtering laws then tap water. This has in the past resulted in bottled water contamination.
If you like the taste of bottled water it is better for you financially to purchase a water filter. This will give you the filtered water taste without wasting money on buying water.
Along with the fact that buying bottled water is a waste of money it is also harmful to the environment. Bottled water contributes an unsustainable amount of waste to our global ecosystem.
#8 High-Interest Rates
If you have high-interest loans or credit cards, they are quietly draining you of extra money monthly. Interest rates over 20% can be considered high-interest rates.
If you have credit card debt and you are only paying the minimum amount due each month it will take you years to pay off your debt. You are essentially wasting money each month and never paying down your debt.
Remember that the amount that you pay in interest is money that you could be saving or spending on items that you need.Eliminating debt is a clear cut way to stop wasting money on interest.
#9 Overpaying Insurance Premiums
Home and car insurance premiums are unavoidable expenses. They are designed to provide you coverage for unexpected events occur.
Most of us are guilty of setting up our insurance policies and never looking at them again. You could easily be overpaying insurance premiums simply by not paying attention.
#10 Cable TV
It’s no secret that cable TV is expensive. But what you might not know is that you don’t have to have cable TV to watch your favorite shows.
Avoid Wasting Money
Eliminating waste is necessary to make sure you are managing your finances as efficient as possible. Cutting obvious costs and eliminating hiding wasteful spending will go a long way towards making you financially healthy.
Leave a comment and share how you avoid wasting money.
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