(MS) Many consumers waste money every day without even noticing it. Yet, rethinking our habits could provide savings that add up quickly over time.
Here is a list of the top ways we waste money. Are there any areas where you could improve?
• Paying credit card interest. Always aim to pay off credit card debt as soon as possible. Consider moving balances from high interest credit cards to one with a lower interest rate. This will allow you to pay off debt faster.
• Buying bottled water. Did you know most bottled water isn’t any better for you than tap water? In fact, some bottled waters come from municipal sources and are repackaged for consumer consumption. Switch to tap water and a reusable bottle to save money and the environment.
• Wasting food. The average household throws out about $600 worth of food each year. Meal planning and budgeting for food can reduce waste significantly. Learning how long food keeps and the truth about expiry dates can also help, as can cooking in bulk and freezing meals.
• Wasting energy. Every month, many homeowners throw money out their doors and windows through energy loss attributed to poorly insulated or maintained homes. Combat the problem easily for instant savings. Top up attic insulation with an easy-to-install batt product, like Roxul Comfortbatt, which can also be used to insulate crawl spaces, basement headers and walls for greater energy efficiency. Caulk cracks and crevices around doors and windows and invest in a programmable thermostat.
• Choosing the wrong plan, option or service provider. Many of us overspend on our phone, cable and even our mortgage. Have you stayed with the status quo for convenience? It might be time to rethink your options. Right-size your phone plan — perhaps an unlimited plan is unnecessary — to reflect actual usage and shrink monthly bills. Consider alternate sources for television and movie viewing. Always shop around for mortgage or car insurance and consider using a broker who has access to dozens of potential lenders/insurers.
• Splurging on coffee. Cafe-quality coffee is an indulgence and a cup of Joe-to-go can cost between $2 and $7. Consider investing in a quality coffee maker or espresso machine for your home or office, and put your daily savings to better use.
• Buying lottery tickets. Quite simply, the odds of winning the lottery are not in your favor. Most of us have a better chance of getting struck by lightning. Spending just $10 a week over 20 years adds up to more than $10,000. Put that into a savings account and you’ve already won.
• Impulse buying. A little self-control can go a long way to lining your wallet. Become a smart shopper by researching prices and options before making significant purchases. Plan ahead to save additional money by packing lunches or snacks instead of eating out.
It’s doesn’t take big sacrifices. Resolve to make some small changes more often to save.