With our finances squeezed, we should all be looking for ways to reduce our outgoings. But no matter how hard we try, millions of us are still throwing away money month after month. What makes it so frustrating, is that all of these things are unnecessary. Here are 10 ways you’re wasting your hard-earned cash:
1. Eating Out
How many times a week do you pop out of the office and buy lunch? And then dine out or get a takeaway when you get home? More and more of us are choosing to eat out rather than prepare food, and it’s costing a fortune.
Instead, make sandwiches for work and cook a family meal. You could even take some of your left-overs into work for tomorrow’s lunch. This will save you a small fortune. Not to mention, it’s a much healthier option.
Home, contents, car, and life insurance. We all need it, but we spend more on insurance than we need to. When your monthly renewals come through instead of just ignoring it, compare prices online. Chances are you’ll find a cheaper deal with another provider. You may even be able to reach a deal with your existing company so you don’t even need to switch providers.
3. Missing Card Repayments
Credit cards are a lifeline for many homeowners, but they can also be the reason you’re broke. If you miss a card repayment, you’ll be met with a hefty fine – money that you shouldn’t have spent in the first place.
If this sounds like you, get in touch with your bank to set up a repayment date that suits you. Maybe choose your payday, so you’ll always have the funds in your account. You should cut the cards up too, so you’re not tempted to spend more than you should.
4. Unread Magazine Subscriptions
Those of us that regularly read magazines will be aware that we can save money by signing up for an annual subscription. Yet how often do you read these magazines? And would you be buying them weekly if they weren’t delivered to your door?
If you’re guilty of not reading your magazines, you should cancel your subscriptions as soon as you can. You’ll be able to save a huge amount of money, but can still purchase your favourite magazines as and when it suits you.
5. Duped by Deals
When we do our weekly shop, we’re often lured in by attractive Buy-One-Get-One-Free offers or Two-For-One deals. But you could be wasting your money by snapping them up. If you wouldn’t normally by the product, and only are because of the deal, you should think twice.
You should also double check that you really are better off by using these offers. Sometimes the prices for the products on their own are cheaper than when in the deal. Again, you’ll be wasting money by grabbing these offers in a hurry.
6. Buying Brands
Other supermarket slip-ups include buying branded products, thinking the quality will be better. More and more own-branded goods are just as tasty – if not nicer – than the famous brands. They’re also cheaper and can save you considerable amounts of money. Why not switch just a few products to an own-brand and see how much you can save?
7. Too Many Channels
Most of us pay for certain television channels, but are you watching everything you’re subscribed to? Children’s channels, movies, and sports are normally offered at a premium cost. So if you’re paying for these channels but not watching them, you’re throwing away a fortune. Contact your provider to drop those you don’t use, and see your bills shrink.
8. Terrible Tyre Treads
With fuel prices rising, you don’t want to pay more for petrol than you need to. But if your tyre treads don’t meet the right requirements, you could be spending far more than you need to. Head to a garage and get them checked to save some money.
You should also make sure you don’t keep heavy things in your boot, or a roof rack attached, when you don’t need them. While taking these out will only make a small difference, you will still be able to save money.
9. Gym Memberships
Was your new years’ resolution to join a gym? Are you paying a monthly subscription, but never going? If you are, you’re wasting huge amounts of money. While you may be tied into an annual contract, make sure you cancel as soon as you can. Instead, enter into a cheaper contract or train on a pay-as-you-go basis. This will help you stay fit, and look after your finances.
10. Sleeping with the Light On
Many of us spend more on our household bills than we need to. Leaving lights on, TV sets on standby, and even leaving the taps running is throwing away money we don’t have. Get an energy monitor to see how much you’re using, and how a few small changes can drop your usage – and costs – in a flash.
These changes are simple to implement, but can help us save hundreds – maybe thousands – of dollars a year. Whether you live alone, or with your family, actively work to make these changes together. Just think what you could do with all the extra cash.
This post has been supplied by Clare Evans, who guest posts for Payday Agency. She writes about money saving tips, personal loans, and other aspects of personal and business finances.