If you had a dripping tap, you would turn it off as soon as you noticed it or get the tap replaced if it was faulty, because you wouldn’t want to waste water. Unfortunately, we are not as observant when it comes to unintentionally wasting our hard earned money, and, little bit by little bit, the dollars can slip away without you realising it. Does that sound like you? Read on to find out some of the common ways people waste money.
Credit card fees
In order to get you hooked onto a particular credit card, a finance company will come up with a good deal for your first year of use, such as no fees. Then, after a 12-month “honeymoon” period, you will start having to pay certain charges. If you are moneywise and have a good credit rating, then you should negotiate with your bank to get a good deal for your subsequent years, or to have the fee waived beyond just the first year. Also, look at any credit cards that you are not using and cancel them, saving just one or possibly two for emergencies. If you need help setting budgets and reviewing your personal finances, speaking to an accountant will help you to identify any other hidden expenses that you may have, as well as any savings that you can make.
Whether it is food or fashion, the advertisers have certainly got us consumers hooked on branded goods. When you do go shopping, particularly for household items and food, pick up the supermarket’s own brands. These will be a little cheaper than the well-known alternatives, and often will have been made by the same manufacturer who has been commissioned by the bigger companies to produce their products. If you are shopping for younger children and babies, remember that they will grow out of their designer outfits in a very short time, and they really don’t care about what they are wearing anyway, so thrift shops and bargain buys will save you money (NB: sadly, this does not work with teenagers!).
Revisit your mobile phone plan
If you find yourself using only the most basic mobile phone services and you are tied into a mobile phone plan, you may be overpaying for services that you don’t really use. If you don’t do a lot of Internet browsing on your mobile phone, and you don’t make frequent calls or send very many text messages, then you might want to look at getting a pay-as-you-go plan, as this could make your money go further.
Bills, bills, bills
Lastly, think about that hypothetical dripping tap and also your energy use. Don’t leave televisions or computers on standby, use low energy light bulbs, and watch your water consumption if it’s metered. By taking just a little extra care, you will be surprised at how much you can save at the end of each month.