No one wants to throw money away, but unfortunately, many people do it without even realizing. You don’t have to wait for a new year to start to change your financial habits. Take note of these common money-wasters and eliminate them from your habits.
Credit Card Interest
Credit cards often have high interest rates, so running up your bills can cost you a lot in the long run. When you owe money on credit card balances, you could end up on the hamster wheel of making minimum payments and never making much of a dent in the total owed. If you do have high interest rates on your credit cards, consider consolidating to create one more manageable payment that you can work towards paying off.
Paying Full Price
Paying full price for items you want or need may seem like the only option. However, with discount sites and coupon codes available at nearly every online retailer, it’s easy to find ways to score discounts on a number of items. Take advantage of these deal sites to save money on any purchase. When you’re shopping for holiday-themed items, make sure to stock up after the season to score the best savings on decorations, apparel, and other gear.
Missing Out on Matches
Many employers offer matches on contributions their employers make to their 401(k), health savings, and other accounts designed to save and plan for the future. If you’re not contributing and taking advantage of any available matches, you are losing out on essentially free money. According to a study by Alight Solutions, approximately 21 percent of employees in America fail to contribute enough to generate the full value of the available match.
Spending a night away from the kitchen is always appealing, especially if you’re not in the mood to cook. But when the habit gets too frequent, your wallet will take a major hit. Spending $10 on lunch four times a week adds up to $2,080 per year, and that doesn’t include what you may be spending on takeout on your way home from work that you eat for dinner.
Heating and Cooling Your Home
Keeping your home comfortable is a necessity, but you could be spending more on your monthly bills than necessary. If you’re not keeping up with regular maintenance on your heating and cooling system, it won’t operate as efficiently, which will cost you more in the long run. Additionally, a system that isn’t maintained is more likely to break down, so you’ll have to spend more on repairs as well.
Grocery Shopping While You’re Hungry
When your stomach is growling, avoid the grocery store. Even if you have the best intentions, you could end up spending more on stuff that sounds good rather than the necessities on your list. Before you head out on your weekly shopping excursion, eat a snack or a meal to avoid racking up your bill.
By changing a few of your bad habits, you can decrease the money you waste and keep more in your pocket. You can also enjoy the benefits of saving money on things that may otherwise be wasteful.