5 Ways You’re Wasting Money

If you’re looking to be more frugal or save money, you’ve probably know all of the basic ways to cut costs and live within your means. But are you wasting money in other ways?

No, this isn’t another article claiming you can save thousands a year by canceling cable and skipping your morning Starbucks run. Here are five ways you might be wasting money that you may never have even thought about.

You don’t revisit your insurance policies each year. 
Most of us have heard or seen ads urging us to make a phone call and save money on car insurance, but how often do you actually do it? Car and home insurance policies vary greatly from company to company–sometimes an identical policy can cost over twice as much than a competitor. Instead of letting your auto renewal kick in every year, shop around for a different policy, like car insurance by Youi. If you’re happy with your current company but do find a cheaper plan elsewhere, call them and ask them to match it. Most insurers are happy to do it if it means keeping a customer.

You’re not using auto-pay for bills. 
Unless you’re lucky enough to be incredibly organized, you’ve probably forgotten to make a payment at some point. This innocent mistake is a huge waste of money, and letting a bill go unpaid can cost you $25 or more. You can make sure this doesn’t happen by setting up auto bill pay or have your payments automatically withdrawn. Some companies (for example, car insurance and utilities) will even give you a discount if you use auto pay.

You don’t use coupons or shopper cards. 
If you don’t use reward or shopper cards for your favorite stores, you could be missing out on substantial savings over the course of time. I used to automatically say “no thanks” every time the Target cashier asked me if I would be using my Target RedCard that day. Once I actually listened to the spiel and found out it was a debit card that gave me 5% off, I signed right up. Five percent may not sound like a lot, but it definitely adds up.

You buy new cars. 
Sure, the new car smell is great, but the new car depreciation isn’t–the average new car loses a whopping 19% of its value during the first year. That means for a $30,000 car, you’ve lost nearly $6,000 in the first year alone, not including the payments you’ve made towards it. A better option would be to buy a car that is a few years old, or buy a certified used car from a dealer that has been regularly serviced. Even better, keep your car long after you’ve paid it off and maintain it so it continues to run well.

You do your own taxes. 
Most people do their own taxes in order to save money, which is commendable. But unless your taxes are incredibly straightforward, a certified public accountant can probably save you more money than you could yourself by doing your own taxes. (Not to mention save you from the grief of doing it yourself.) Accountants can help you find deductions or tax credits you may not have known existed.

Do you have any tips for cutting wasteful spending? Let us know!


Posted in: Money, Saving Money

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