While you could be working on class action rebates in order to gain a few dollars, it actually could be time to look at your entire financial picture in order to examine the money coming in and going out, to see what are necessary vs. unnecessary purchases, not to mention the potential money wastes. If you are not currently tracking spending, a good way to see where every dollar is going is to take last month’s debit or credit card statement and actually go line by line. From there you can determine what could have been avoided, and maybe even take a look at your monthly bills to see what could be cut from there. Either way, free up extra money this way will help put your hard-earned dollars towards better use, such as building an emergency fund, paying off debt, and even more important, saving for retirement so you have adequate funds when you really need them.
Going Out to Eat
Sure, it’s nice to have someone else prepare your meal for you, especially if you’re not much of a cook, it’s probably something you can get used to, whether that is going out for lunch at work, stopping for carryout on the way home, or even taking the family out to dinner, but as I’m sure you know, that adds up pretty quickly. By avoiding going out to eat, going grocery shopping, prepping and preparing meals at home, you can see instant savings add up right away by putting in a little effort.
Continuing to Pay a Gym Membership
As Christmas comes to and end and we head into January, the new years resolution comes in full-force, and much like everyone, losing weight is at the top of the list, so you join a gym. Now while that is a great initiative, you start going a few times a week regularly, but as the months go on, the visits before less, and by summertime, if not sooner, you’re paying the monthly gym membership fee without even going. Now that the weather is getting nicer, start walking/running daily, along with a better diet, and you’ll see the pounds come off.
Most of us don’t remember a time when cable was not a part of our lifestyle, but those times could be changing. With more and more cable customers becoming frustrated with the high costs, many are choosing to cut the cord and opt with a streaming service. You probably are paying for Netflix anyways, so keeping that for around $10 a month and you can still catch up on all the best shows, plus if you want to get local channels you can get an HD antenna for around $20 and still watch the evening news.
Credit Card Interest
Believe it or not, credit cards do have their place in your finances, and if used correctly, can actually provide plenty of benefits. With all of the fraud going on these days, using a debit card just isn’t safe anymore and someone getting ahold of your debit card could cause your checking account to be wiped out. If a credit card is not used responsibly and you charge more than you can afford, then you get hit with interest until the full statement balance is paid, which depending on the card, that 16% APR can really add to the monthly payment.
Not Comparing Prices
Fortunately, we live in an age now where we don’t have to drive all over town to different stores in order to find the best deal, and within the comfort of our own home, can flip back and forth between websites in a matter of seconds, so there should be no reason to at least do your research without making a purchase, saving money whenever you can. Most sites now offer free shipping, so it makes it even nicer that you don’t have to deal with traffic and long lines at the checkout.
Booking Through Travel Sites
We see so many entertaining travel site commercials with celebrities now, that we think that is the only way to book travel, when in fact the truth is, there are actually sites for the airline, hotels, and rental car that we are booking from that have lower, if not the same, prices as travel sites, and you get the comfort to know that if any issues come up, they have to help you, instead of push you to the third-party travel site that you booked from. Good luck with that.