With the economy crumbling and the cost of living on the rise, saving money is more important now than ever. Although you may think you have a tight grip on your wallet and an airtight budget, there may be a leak somewhere. Here are some common money wasters you may not have been aware of.
Convenience Stores: Although they are extremely convenient, most convenience stores such as 7/11 and Wawa jack up the prices. Instead of going to a convenience store for snacks, milk or other odds and ends, just make a trip to the grocery store. It may be a little out of the way, but you’ll save in the end.
ATM Fees: Ever use the nearest ATM instead of the one at your bank? Then you’ve probably been charged a ridiculous ATM charge. Some ATM fees can be as much as 5 dollars per use and that can really add up.
Lottery Tickets: According to statistics,there’s a better chance of being struck by lightning than winning the lottery. That doesn’t stop people from playing. According to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, about 70 billion dollars worth of tickets were sold. The payout was only about 3o billion.
Buying Coffee: Although you may buy a cup of coffee only a few days a week, it can really add up. In addition to the coffee, you’re usually paying for ambiance, the cup, and a brand name. Instead of buying a cup of coffee from Starbucks or Wawa or another coffee shop, you can always brew your own and save.
Cigarettes: If you smoke, you see the price of cigarettes rising all time. According to the center of disease control, Americans spend about 80 billion dollars on cigarettes each year. The best way to cut the costs of this unhealthy habit is to quit or cut back on smoking.
Eating Out: Although it may be convenient to go to a fast food or sit down restaurant, it can add up if you go a couple of times a week.
Not Paying Bills Right Away: Sometimes you may need a skip a month or so on certain bills, but you should always try to pay the balance as soon as possible. If you don’t pay them, the balance from the month before and the current month can be a killer. Don’t forget about interest either.
You’re Car: There’s a lot of wasted money when it comes to cars. For one thing, many people pay for premium gas when regular works just fine. Tires that are not properly inflated can also cause you to get lower gas mileage. In addition, your car can last between 5,000 and 7,000 miles without an oil change instead of 3,000.
Unused Gym Memberships: If you’re not going to the gym consistently, an automatic monthly payment is silly. You can buy weights and other equipment, exercise mats, DVDs or just take walks or go running instead. It’s a lot cheaper.
Your Cellphone: Although smartphones and blackberries are cool, you have to pay extra for certain apps and features. To save money, you could get a phone that doesn’t have as many unnecessary features or get a prepaid plan.
Brand Names:Believe it or not, off brand products are usually of the same quality as most brand names. The only major difference is that you’re paying more for a name, clever packaging and advertising.
Buying Water: Tap water is free, bottled water isn’t. For better tasting tap water, buy a water filter.
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