For some of us, managing money is a necessity. Of course, you can save money but cutting out some of your non-essential pleasures, like your premium cable channels or morning trip to the coffee shop, but the good news is that not all money wasters make you happy.
Here are six ways to stop money from leaking through your wallet without pain:
Money-Waster #1: Landline Phones
Most households rely on mobile phones only, but less than one-quarter of people ages 65 and up have made the switch. If you do want to keep your landline, be sure that you’re not overpaying. Check with your internet or television provider to see what options they provide.
Potential savings: $560/year.
Money-Waster #2: Greeting Cards
Cards continue to get more and more expensive. It’s not unusual to see cards $5 or more each. Consider buying blank greeting cards and personalize them yourself for the occasion. You can often find beautiful cards in boxes at a price that works out to be less than 50 cents per card. Send those cards out for holidays and birthdays instead of buying cards for specific occasions.
Potential savings: $100/year.
Money-Waster #3: Late Fees
The penalty for making a credit card payment late can be as high as $28 for the first violation and as much as $39 for additional late payments. If you are late on a bill, ask for a break on your fees. Roughly 84% of people who ask their credit card company for a break get one potential savings: $28 or more per year.
Money-Waster #4: Food Waste
An average American throws away nearly one pound of food each day. One survey showed that this can add up to around $640 every year going to the garbage. Consider using your freezer to avoid this waste. Place your leftovers in a container and freeze so you can warm it up later. If you have produce going bad,
consider making a soup or casserole and save it for months in the freezer.
Potential savings: $600/year.
Money-Waster #5: Bank Fees
ATM charges, monthly fees, and overdraft penalties can really add up, but many bank experts say you shouldn’t pay for a checking account. Some 40% of banks and 80% of credit unions have free checking account options that don’t have a minimum balance requirement.
Potential savings: $144/year or more.
Money-Waster #6: Full Price Cosmetics and Toiletries
Instead of shopping at specialty stores or drug stores, try shopping for these items at discount stores such as Marshalls and TJ Maxx. They have beauty departments that often contain brand-name face products, hair products, and more.
Potential savings: 40% or more.
While these things may seem small, those seemingly little fees can add up over time, especially over the period of a year. Consider a few of the above options and see how much money you can put back in your pocket this year.