Are you wasting money without realizing it? Learn how to avoid wasting money each month and keep your budget in check by eliminating these expenses.
Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase.
1. Unused Subsciptions & Memberships
We’ve all signed up for things that we didn’t planned on using but didn’t. Or we were using but aren’t anymore. Oftentimes, we see the charge on our account and that’s when we remember that we should have cancelled it! We get busy and sidetracked and may even go months before cancelling an unused expense.
TAKE ACTION: Look through you bank statements (and credit card statements). Are there any services that you don’t use anymore? Be honest with yourself-even if you think you should continue the membership-will you actually use it?
Expenses to look for: magazine subscriptions, music subscriptions, monthly software charges, and gym/weight loss club memberships.
2. Bank Service Charges
Do you pay a monthly fee for your checking account? Many banks and credit unions have some sort of free checking account.
If you are being charged a monthly fee, see if your bank offers another type of account that is better suited to your activity level. Credit unions are also a great option; they typically have lower fees.
3. ATM Withdrawal Fees
Withdrawing cash from a bank other than your own bank will run you $2-3 in bank surcharges. Plus, your bank may charge a couple of bucks on top of that because you didn’t use their ATM.
$4 or $5 just to withdraw $40 of your own money? That’s highway robbery!
How to avoid ATM fees
- Find a bank with an ATM network that better matches where you live and work.
- Take out more cash each time to avoid getting hit with as many surcharges at once.
- Get cash back on purchases like at the grocery store, but make sure your bank doesn’t charge a fee first!
4. Cut Cable or Satellite
Instead of paying $50 to $100 a month for your cable, look into streaming alternatives. I cut cable over two years ago and the only thing I miss is that bill! 🙂
5. Overpaying on your monthly bills
Did you know you are probably paying too much for bills like your cell phone, cable, and internet?
Shrinkabill is able to negotiate your bills and reduce your monthly costs. Simply send them copies of your bill and they get right to work.
If they are unable to lower your bill, they’ll send you a $25 gift card just for trying them out! Most customers can see up to a 35% bill reduction.
TAKE ACTION: Try Shrinkabill to reduce your month bills
6. Convenience Fees
Many services charge a convenience fee for being able to pay with a credit card. It’s a sneaky way for companies to recoup the cost of credit card processing.
I’ve seen convenience fees tacked on school lunch accounts, bill payments made by telephone, movie ticket reservations, and more. Even though it’s only a couple dollars here and there, it adds up over the course of a month!
7. Late charges & fines
Have you ever mailed a bill late and just automatically sent the late payment amount? Or worse, gotten slapped with a $30 fee because your check arrived a day late? What about library fines or keeping a Redbox rental an extra day?
Late charges are preventable. Add a reminder to your phone if needed or setup auto payments.
8. Food Waste
Who hasn’t thrown out a half block of moldy cheese, stale bread, or had to dump expired milk down the drain?
Even with the best planning it still happens. How much much food do you throw away over the course of each month? And what about cooked but uneaten food, like leftovers that hide in your fridge for days? All that food being thrown away used your hard-earned dollars!
Create a meal plan, use leftovers, and watch your cabinets and fridge for expiring foods.
9. Bottled Water
How often to you grab a bottle of water while you are on the run? Or stop at the vending machine at work? Bottled water at a convenience store or vending machine will set you back $1-2 each time.
10. Not Having A Budget
When you don’t have a budget, it’s easy to spend more that you realize. A budget is a plan for how you want (and need) to spend your money. Without a plan, we spend whatever without a second thought.
For example, if you have a budget and decide you have a limit of $100 for dining out a restaurants, and you’ve already spent $75 this month, you know you only have $25 left. You’ll probably have to stick to fast food or stay home.
Without a budget, you may have gone out to eat anyway only to realize the consequences of your spending at bill paying time!
11. Buying Items You Don’t Need
We live in a consumption based society. There’s always this need to have the latest and greatest. To keep up with what everyone else has.
But when you take a step back, do you really need the item you are about to purchase? Is there something else you already have that you can use? Can you borrow from a friend? Chances are you already have something at home that will meet your needs.
12. Credit Card Interest
If you don’t have the money to purchase something, save money until you do. Credit card interest can be killer!
If you have current balances you are working on paying off, contact the credit card company and see if you can get your interest rate lowered. You could also apply for a 0% promotional rate card to help pay off outstanding balances. (Be sure to have a firm plan in place to avoid crazy interest rates when the promotional period ends!)
RELATED: 7 WAYS TO GET OUT OF DEBT FAST
Stop Wasting Money
Did you find one or more expenses on the list that affect your budget? Start by eliminating them one at a time. See how much money you can save each month!