• Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

7 Everyday Ways You’re Wasting Money

ferrantraite / Getty Images

You may follow the ins and outs of the stock market with a passion other people reserve for their favorite dramas. You may regularly put funds into savings, or bookmark sites like GOBankingRates to help you stay mindful about your money. But that doesn’t stop the everyday expenses you’re not always paying attention to from creeping up and bleeding out some of your cash.

Learn More: 10 Expenses Most Likely To Drain Your Checking Account Each Month
Check Out: 6 Genius Things All Wealthy People Do With Their Money

To get input from financial planners about everyday money wasters, GOBankingRates talked to Taylor Kovar, CFP, the founder and CEO of 11Financial and the CEO of The Money Couple, and Elizabeth Pennington, CFP, senior associate at Fearless Finance.

Adding Unnecessary Late Fees

Kovar said that people often incur unnecessary expenses by forgetting to pay bills on time, taking on late fees or higher interest rates that they don’t have to. Of course, with many people experiencing increased demands on their time and attention, it’s easy to forget the utilities bill in the shuffle.

Kovar recommends setting up automatic payments or even calendar reminders to help pay bills on-time — and avoid adding extra fees because of a slip of the mind.

Read Next: I’m a Frugal Shopper: 7 Things I Never Waste Money On

Failing to Prioritize

According to Pennington, that old nugget of wisdom about not getting a latte every day to save money doesn’t always have to be the case. If the latte gives you joy and you can afford it, there’s no reason to skip your daily jolt of java. However, the problem occurs when, after coming home, you decide to DoorDash instead of cooking from groceries already on hand.

“If daily coffee is important, most people can’t also prioritize frequent happy hours and dinner delivery while [focusing on] financial stability,” she said.

Keeping a Cable Subscription

In the age of plentiful streaming options — when most major networks have their own streaming channels, like Peacock or Max, or partnerships with streamers a la FX and Hulu — Kovar said there’s no real reason to keep a cable subscription. Holding onto a cable subscription, especially if you’re already using streaming services, is just adding an unnecessary bill every month.

Being Careless About Utilities

You’re just going from the kitchen to the living room, plate of food in hand and ready for the playoffs, and you forget to turn off the light. Is it really a big deal, financially? Or you’re running out for an afternoon of errands, and you don’t want to come back to a cold house. Can letting the heat run at full blast really scorch your wallet?

Kovar said that letting utilities run when you’re not using them can be a money waster in the form of higher energy bills.

Also, if you’ve been worried about the cost of replacing older appliances that may be inefficient, you should know that relying on outdated appliances can also run up your bills. Kovar suggests unplugging devices when they’re not in use, as well as making other small changes, like using LED bulbs or dressing for the weather, even indoors, to help you save.

Getting Sucked Into ‘Black Hole’ Spending

Almost everyone has had the experience of going to Target for a new coffee maker or a vacuum and coming out with more than they anticipated purchasing — sometimes, a whole lot more. Pennington refers to the unintentional spending many people do at retailers like Target and Amazon as “black hole” spending.

She reminds her clients that sites like Amazon, where people can buy things so easily, are designed to encourage people to bypass their better judgment — or at least, the part of their minds that asks if they really need another rock salt lamp or fancy water bottle.

“Convenience has value, but its value isn’t unlimited,” she said.

Shopping Without a List

It’s no secret that grocery prices are putting the squeeze on many consumers’ wallets. Going to the grocery store these days can feel like playing a game of Tetris with your food budget. Perusing the aisles without a list only sets you up to lose that game.

According to Kovar, shopping sans a list can lead you to buy items that you don’t actually need or maybe already have. It’s a waste of food and money.

Remaining in the Dark About Financial Opportunities

Topics like retirement or investing may seem tricky for younger people looking to set up their first household budgets, but not taking advantage of opportunities to learn how to stretch or grow their money doesn’t set them up for success in the long run. Kovar encourages everyone — especially young people — to avail themselves of free resources to learn more about easy, everyday ways to ensure security.

“So many times, I see young adults not even think about long-term finances, and it is to their detriment later on,” he said. “We all have to realize that no one else is going to look out for us, so if we aren’t using resources to our advantage, we are going to lose money.”

More From GOBankingRates

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: I’m a Financial Planner: 7 Everyday Ways You’re Wasting Money

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *