If saving money is more important to you than wasting it, here’s some information that might interest you.
Without even realizing it, you may be practicing spending habits that are the equivalent of tossing money away. All it takes is a little bit here and a little bit there to add up to a significant amount of cash dribbled away every month. If you are a frequent fan of any of the following behaviors, it might be time to rethink where your dollars go.
Carrying a credit card balance.
You’ll end up paying a whopping amount of interest if you make only the minimum payment on your credit cards. Make it your goal to pay down cards, then pay the balance in full each month.
Keeping your money in a low-interest account.
Depositing your money so it makes more money is always a smart move. Look into higher-yield money market accounts and CDs to make the most of your deposits.
Failing to take advantage of freebies.
It’s true—you really can get something for nothing. From restaurant meals for kids to credit reports…from two-for-one dinners to product samples…there’s a wealth of options out there with no price tag. All it takes is a little research to find them.
Buying premium gasoline.
Does your car really require high-octane fuel for peak performance? If not, consider knocking it down a grade to save a few dollars at the pump.
Missing deadlines and paying the price for it.
If you regularly forget to return video rentals and library books, the late fees can add up. Mark due dates on a Post-It note placed in a conspicuous spot, or put a notation on a calendar that you look at on a regular basis.
Making impulse purchases.
“I see it/I love it/I’m buying it” isn’t the best way to shop. Instead, research prices online, read reviews, and look for coupons or promo codes to get the most bang for your buck.
Not returning unnecessary purchases.
Okay. So your resistance weakened and you failed step number 6. Now that it’s done, do you really need those over-the-knee boots…those extra-tall-stem wine glasses…that awesome power tool? C’mon. If you can live without it, take it back to the store and get a refund.
Dining out on a regular basis.
Sure, it’s nice to have someone prepare your meals, serve them, and do the cleaning up, but there’s a price to be paid for sitting back and enjoying the service. Instead, have your meals at home more often. You might discover you’re a rather good chef!
Paying for things you don’t use.
Do you have a gym membership that’s sitting dormant (and so are you)? Do you have subscriptions to magazine that go unread month after month? Are you forgetting to use Netflix regularly? If you answer yes to any of these, perhaps it’s time to make some cancellations.
Buying brand-name groceries and sundries instead of generic.
The packaging may be pretty. The copy might be compelling. But that doesn’t make the high-end product better than the off-brand one. In fact, the ingredients might be identical on both, so read labels carefully.
Buying insurance you don’t need.
Life insurance policies are designed for people with financial dependents. If you’re single or a senior, you don’t need it. You can probably also forego credit-card insurance (if you pay down your debt), rental-car insurance (most auto policies carry some coverage), and accidental-death insurance (a regular term-life policy will suffice).
Buying a new car instead of a used one.
It’s a sad but true fact: that brand-spanking-new car loses 20% of its value the minute it’s driven off the lot, and it drops an additional 65% over the next five years. You’ll save a bundle if you shop around for a used car that’s just a few years old.