Money! You never seem to have enough and when you do get some, it slips through your fingers in a flash. However, no matter how careful you think you are being, you might be tossing your money away without even realising it. A little bit here and a late fee there, and before you know it, your bank balance isn’t what it should be.
Unfortunately, there are money-wasting traps all around us, but the good news is they can be easily avoided. Here are seven to watch out for, along with some helpful advice to get you back on the savings track, and looking forward to your next holiday, home renovation or fabulous pair of shoes:
Credit card interest
Having a credit card can be a godsend but if you’re not careful, it can cost you more than it’s worth. Especially if you don’t pay your credit card bill in full each month. You can easily find yourself constantly having to pay extra dollars in interest, money that would have been better spent elsewhere and can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars if you don’t keep an eye on it.
Try to only use your credit card if necessary and think of it in terms of money you actually have, not what you don’t – remember, the bill still has to be paid at the end of the month.
Find a financial broker
A really smart thing to do is to get an expert to organise your finances so you’re getting the best terms possible. Getting a little guidance from a financial broker will ensure you are making the lowest repayments available throughout the life of your home, car or personal loans.
Making an appointment with a consultant from Savvy will help you find an affordable and flexible personal loan, that is tailor-made to suit your life and financial situation. With Savvy’s advice and expertise, you’ll not only save money but also have enough to do and have things you didn’t think possible.
It may not seem much, but when you use your card in the ATM of a competitive bank, you’re charged for every transaction. And those fees add up. Check your bank statement at the end of the month and you might be surprised by how much you’ve actually spent on the convenience of using the ATM just around the corner.
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So make a concerted effort to only withdraw cash from an ATM that does not charge you fees, and make sure you withdraw enough to avoid a later more desperate (and expensive) dash to any old ATM. The fees from a couple of withdrawals amount to the cost of a takeaway coffee – which would be far more enjoyable than simply withdrawing money, a task that really shouldn’t cost you a cent.
Make your lunch
Speaking of takeaway coffees, these can certainly add up. As does the money spent buying your lunch every day when you’re away from home.
Make your coffee at home, pop it in a thermos and you’re already saving up to $20 a week. The same goes for food. Set the alarm a fraction earlier and make your lunch before you go to work. Or cook up a few dishes on the weekend and have separate serves in the freezer ready to go. Not only will this save your pennies but also help you to eat more healthily and make the most of that money spent on your gym membership!
When it comes to those everyday utilities such as phone, internet, gas or electricity, there’s a huge amount of competition with different companies all vying for your attention. Shop around and find the best deal. Call your current phone company and see what they can do for you. Different deals come in all the time and there might be a new product or offer that could save you money each month. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
Watch out for those subscriptions and memberships that click in after a free three-month trial. Credit card charges automatically go into action after a certain period of time, and you might not even realise.
Enjoy a free trial as much as you like but read the fine print or question the customer service representative about costs involved. Then make a note of the date at which you start paying for the service, so you can make an informed decision about whether you want to continue, without losing any money.
From utility bills to library books, getting caught out by late fees is one way to simply throw precious money away. Just about every bill has a late fee if it’s not paid on time. Phone, water, gas, even monthly instalments on that fridge you bought. Miss the due date and you’ll certainly be charged. Make a note of every bill you pay, the dates they are due, and pay them promptly. After all, you have better things to do with your money than pay unnecessary fees that are completely avoidable.
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