Times are tough. The economy is weak and household expenses have been stretched to breaking point. But don’t make things harder for yourself each day. There are some actions which are costing you money each day. Know these regular money wasters to avoid and be better off.
Walk into any diner in the land and you’ll see a table which looks extremely smug. No, it’s not because the food is great, it’s because they paid half the normal price by cutting out a voucher. Don’t turn your nose up at vouchers. Actively searching for them on coupon and daily deal sites can cut up to 50% off your next meal.
2. Gym Membership
One of the biggest money wasters is the gym. Many people who buy memberships never use them for the entire period covered by the membership as they soon become bored with the experience. If you don’t intend on going to the gym on a consistent basis, don’t sign up for an expensive membership. There are plenty of ways to exercise for free or at a small cost.
3. Auto Insurance Renewal
Your auto insurance is a huge expense. But the cheapest company you took out your current policy with isn’t necessarily the cheapest company now. Don’t auto-renew, do some research on the Internet and find the cheapest best option. Comparison sites can save you money.
4. Expensive Treats
Do you really need that Starbucks coffee on the way to work or that pre-packed salad or sandwich for lunch? You can make a sandwich at home for a fraction of the cost of ready-made. Make a salad or a meal you can microwave - not only will it cost you less than a takeaway but it will also be healthier.
5. Shopping Drone
Grocery shopping is a chore and tedious, but unless you treat it as an expedition to seek out the best deal, your grocery bills will just continue to rise. Use coupons, check out special offers, see if there are products better bought in bulk and if you like apps, check out the ones that will point you to the best deals.
Train tickets and air travel cost more if you book at the last minute. These companies want to fill their schedule as far in advance as possible. You can save up to 25% simply by booking three months before your actual travel date.
7. Credit Card Fees and Interest
If you are still using a credit card that charges fees and interest, ask yourself why? There are plenty of 0% credit cards available. Switch to a card with 0% interest for the longest period of time. Remember however, constantly swapping and changing credit cards is not good for your credit score so understand the impact of balance transfers before doing them.
8. Utility Bills
Our energy bills are among the highest of household expenses. There is some effort involved in switching energy suppliers, and the Government is making it easier with Electric Choice, but sticking with your current provider and not checking out better and cheaper options is a wasted opportunity to save money.
9. Car Maintenance
Did you know that fuel efficiency can be affected by the state of your vehicle as well as how you drive it? A well maintained car that is driven well is more fuel efficient – therefore better value for money. For example, if you drive on underinflated tires, you will use more gas than if your tires are at the recommend pressure.
10. Online Purchases
In general online purchases are cheaper than going to the store but before hitting the confirm payment button, check out things like shipping costs and booking fees. Make sure it is cheaper after all charges! Booking fees can usually be avoided if you go direct to a company selling tickets rather than a licensed agent.