Sick of getting a nasty shock when you check your bank balance? OK, maybe you could have one less weekend away, or deprive yourself of those new sneakers you need, but that would be a shame.
Often, the things that we fritter money away on are things that we don’t need, and probably don’t enjoy all that much.
Here a few bad habits that, when added up, could save you a small fortune.
The mobile phone has become our essential tool in the digital era; we’ve all felt that weird sense of isolation when we’ve gone without it for a day or two.
However, the main culprit has to be paid apps, or services bought through them. How many times have you downloaded an app that looks great, and agreed to pay a few dollars a month to use it, then never looked at it again? You might be surprised.
Go through your apps and work out which ones are throwing money down a black hole. Also, always set an alarm for when a free trial expires - often the company won’t remind you.
After a long day at work, we all like to relax in one way or another. Some people consider Netflix essential, while others prefer to read a good book. The reasons for this are obvious; we like to be entertained, and feel that this is a good way to spend our money.
There are some forms of entertainment, though, where we might not be spending money on it for this reason. Online gambling, for example, is often seen as a way of making a quick buck.
Once we learn how casino games work , however, we can see that, in the long-run, the statistics always work in favour of the casino, so, sooner or later, our spending pot will reduce to nothing.
Players often throw more money into this ‘black hole’ to recoup what they’ve lost and, in some cases, this leads to severe financial difficulties and even health problems.
If you want to be entertained by gambling, then spending what you can afford is fine. But if you’re playing to make a profit, then maybe this is an area you could stay away from and save money in the process.
Despite what they say, banks often don’t have your best interests at heart. They’re there to make money, and they often do it in underhand ways that can cost you a lot, if you’re not careful.
Charging an overdraft fee is one such way. Banks will often charge you for dropping into below zero in your account, otherwise known as an ‘unauthorised overdraft’. While the principle might seem correct - it is their money, after all - the fees can be unfairly high. This is one of the easiest fees to incur, but they’re also easy to avoid with a little care.
Also, ATM fees don’t sound like much but they mount up quickly. Only use your own bank’s machines. And keep an eye on the fees charged in your monthly statement: they might be more than agreed and you couldclaim a refund.
Here’s the good news. You don’t need to be an expert to perform basic maintenance on your car.
There are great tutorials on YouTube that guide you through essential tasks that anyone can perform on their car, and doing this will bring you two great benefits.
1. You don’t have to pay a mechanic to do something super easy
2. You’ll save yourself a lot of money in the long-term by avoiding serious engine problems.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should be taking apart the engine to change the cambelt, for example. Serious tasks are always better left to professionals, but you should always be able to check the engine oil and change the water coolant yourself.
You have more ability than you think you do - give it a go!
Now, warranties can be extremely useful. If the new laptop you bought blows up after a week, then you’ll be glad you have it.
But the truth is, we often pay too much for them, especially for warranty extensions. Ask yourself, is it really worth paying $40 for an extra year’s cover on your $200 Chromebook?
If you really want it to last, then just take extra good care of it. Besides, if you do need a new one in three years’ time, then that $40 would pay a fifth of a new one, anyway.
Always look to insure things that are irreplaceable, such as your life, home and health. For the rest, think about it before giving that nice store clerk cash that you could use for other things.
Buying brand new clothes is a nice way to treat yourself after a busy month at work, but how and when we buy them can often make a big difference to our finances.
If you see something you like, don’t just buy it the moment you see it. Keep an eye on it until the store has a sale and offers a discount on it. It also gives you a chance to consider whether you really want it, or to see if a better alternative appears.
There are also some great sites that offer barely-used second-hand clothes, offering huge reductions just because someone wore them once. The value for money you can find is incredible, and it’ll also mean they’ll last longer than buying cheaply made clothes for the same price.
As author Mokokoma Mokhonoana said, not wasting money is the best way to save money. Start now and see how much you can save in a month - you might get a pleasant surprise!