Money can be difficult to hang onto, somehow it seems to slip out of our wallets. Even the best money managers and budget conscious individuals can be guilty of waste. We are all going to make mistakes when it comes to our spending, the key is to mitigate those mistakes. Here are some things to look out for.
But I Need My I-Phone!
Did you know that the average cell phone bill for an individual person is $73, doesn’t that seem expensive? We live in a time of entitlement when it comes to our cell phones, and it is costing us. Brilliant marketers from big cell phone companies and plan providers have convinced us that we need to have the latest and greatest when it comes to our cell phones. Each new iteration of the I-phone costs upward of $700, include that with a cell plan and that device sitting in your pocket becomes pretty expensive. If you are able to make due with a more moderately priced phone, you’ll find yourself with plenty of extra cash.
I Don’t Have The Time To Shop Around!
One of the ways you may be wasting money is by not shopping around for a better deal. Whether it is your auto insurance, clothes, car, furniture or anything else take your time to find a bargain. This is especially true for your auto insurance. True you may have been a customer with your existing company for years, but loyalty is no reason to stick with a financial company. Most companies will let you get a quote for free and if it could mean saving on a monthly expense why are you avoiding it? Don’t assume that because you are happy with your current rate that there isn’t a better one out there. Trading a little bit of time for saving on things you already need to purchase is worth it.
I’ll Pay It Off Someday…I Promise.
If you have a credit card balance you are absolutely throwing money away, often at the tune of hundreds of dollars a year. Chew on this for a minute. If you have a credit card balance of just $1,000 at a 13% interest rate (usually the average) card and you make the monthly minimum payments here’s what you have to look forward to. It will take you 101 months to pay off that balance and you will have paid $605 in interest in addition to that first $1,000. If you don’t believe me you can do the math for yourself using this credit card repayment calculator. If you have a balance on your credit card you are throwing money away like it is going out of style.
I Can’t Give Up My Jelly Of The Month Club!
Many of us are enrolled in various monthly memberships. These include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, your gym membership, magazine subscriptions, online gaming, premium cable packages it seems there are all manner of monthly memberships that want to get at our money. How many of us are paying for a gym membership that we rarely use? If you have any monthly subscription which isn’t absolutely ESSENTIAL then you are throwing money down the drain. Time to finally admit that as much as you enjoy telling people about your wall street journal subscription you barely read it and would rather have that money for something you really like.
But It Is Such A Smoking Deal.
While there are great deals to be had on websites like Groupon and Living Social, they also represent a brilliant marketing technique; getting us to buy stuff we don’t need because it is on sale. Is it still a really good deal when you buy something you didn’t intend to buy at 50% off? Our answer is no! Only hop on those websites when you were already looking for something, ignore their incessant emails filled with crap you don’t need. Have you ever wondered why Groupon and Living Social won’t let you look at their deals unless you enter your email address, because they count on customers making impulse purchases. The same is true for other retailers as well. A great deal on something you didn’t need isn’t a deal at all.
How have you been throwing money away? What are you doing to take it back?