Sometimes it can seem like money is disappearing right before your eyes. This is not magic — this is because the world is full of tricks, traps and opportunities to waste your hard-earned money. To start saving and stop wasting, consider cutting back on these five avoidable expenses.
1. Avoid Bank & Credit Card Fees
Sometimes you need look no further than your bank or credit card to discover where your money is being wasted. It’s a good idea to look over your statements. From convenience and overdraft fees to ATM, account maintenance and annual card fees, consider switching banks or cards to cut out these unnecessary fees.
2. Determine If You Need Extended Warranties
Whenever you are buying a new large purchase like a car or appliance, the salesperson will likely ask if you want to buy an extended warranty. Before you agree to this extra cost, consider whether it’s really worth it. Often the original warranty will last long enough or the cost to repair or replace it will actually be less than the cost of the extended warranty. (Also check your credit cards; some provide an extended warranty at no additional cost.)
3. Don’t Pay Extra for Water
Buying bottled water is one of the craziest and most expensive modern consumer trends. You can get the same product virtually for free without leaving your home — if you are worried about taste or quality, try a filter.
4. Consider Subscriptions Over One-Time Purchases
Spending tons of money on individual books, DVDs and the like can be much more expensive than the alternative. Consider services like Netflix, HBOGo or Amazon Prime to avoid paying the high price to own each individual show. For books and other media, use the library.
5. Make Sure You’re Not Overinsured
This is true for many different kinds of insurance. It’s important to review your policies carefully regularly to make sure that they still reflect your needs. How much life insurance you require will likely change over the course of your lifetime. So too will the amount of car insurance. In this case, raising your deductibles can reduce your premium so you save hundreds of dollars each year, meaning you can afford an emergency if it happens.
By tracking your spending and making a budget you can monitor where your money is going and plug the money leaks.
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