No matter how tight our budgets or how stringent we think we are with our spending, it can seem like our money just evaporates. Instead of cutting out whole aspects of your life, it can be a good idea to consider specific things you consistently overspend on and try to cut back or find cheaper alternatives. Check below for some of the most common stuff many of us spend too much money on.
This is one is easy to forget about. You choose a bank or credit union and stay put for years, decades or, well, forever. But there may be options out there for you that will charge fewer fees and/or pay more interest. It can be a good idea to do your research to choose the right bank for your current needs that keeps maintenance, ATM, minimum balance and inactivity fees low. It may be time to consider other options or challenge your current financial institution to give you a better deal.
Buying bottled water might be convenient, but it hurts the environment — and your pocket. Even buying just five $1 bottles a week adds up to roughly $300 a year for a beverage you could be getting for (almost) free. It can be a good idea to switch to a filtered water pitcher and reusable bottle. Your wallet — and Mother Earth — will thank you.
Having insurance policies in place is important, but if you are not careful about picking just the right one for you, your finances can suffer. There is a good chance you may be paying for insurance coverage or warranty protection you don’t really need, so it’s important to review all of your policies carefully and see what is truly worth the cost.
If you are under the weather or suffering from a long-term health condition, you are likely willing to spend almost anything to get better. But, it could be costing you more than you need to spend. If you regularly buy prescription and over-the-counter drugs, it’s a good idea to consider forgoing the name brand and finding a cheaper generic option with the same active ingredients and strength. (Of course, always check with your doctor before making a change like this.)
A premium cable or satellite package can run hundreds of dollars a month, and even the basic option is often north of $50 a month. If you know the shows you like and can find them using cheaper streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu Plus, you may find yourself with extra cash for something else in your life.
6. Your Debt
The lifetime cost of debt is staggering. While you may not be able to avoid debt entirely throughout your life, you can help reduce its impact on your wallet by making sure you maintain good credit scores so you can qualify for the best interest rates when you do have to borrow money. You can get your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com to see where you stand.
Whether these examples apply or not, it’s a good idea to review your personal expenses. Finding the areas where you are habitually spending unnecessarily can make a big difference to your bottom line.
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