If you never seem to have enough money to get through the month without financial stress, you may be guilty of a few bad spending habits and are throwing away money without realizing it.
Many people fall into the trap of unplanned spending at the grocery store checkout lane or they indulge in social spending activities where they spend much more than planned.
There are also a number of situations where you may be wasting money without even realizing it and it’s not always easy to recoup the losses from those expenditures.
Here are five ways you’re wasting money without knowing it:
1. Paying for subscriptions you don’t really use.
How many magazine, newspaper, or digital subscriptions are you paying for but never really have the time to read or use? Take a closer look at your subscription expenses and consider whether they are really worth your money.
You may be able to find a lot of similar material online for free. Make sure you’re not wasting money on subscriptions that don’t offer any real value.
2. Not paying down high-interest debt.
If you’re only making the minimum payments on high-interest credit cards, you are wasting money on interest payments month after month.
Take stock of your current credit card debt load and put together a plan to pay down that credit card debt as quickly as possible.
Failing to pay off consumer debt within a reasonable amount of time can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in annual interest payments and can also have a negative impact on your credit score.
3. Paying high banking fees.
When was the last time you shopped around for better rates on your savings accounts, or for better service offerings at your bank? If you are paying fees to maintain certain types of accounts at your current bank, you may be paying more than you need to – and wasting money as a result.
Shop competitor banks or credit unions for better rates and services, and consider making the switch to save some extra cash.
4. Ignoring credit card and bank statements.
Even if your account is inactive or you check your activity online now and then, it’s a good idea to review your credit card and bank statements each month for any errors or suspicious activity.
Catching mistakes early can help you save time and money in the event you need to report fraudulent activity or file a dispute.
You can also avoid paying late charges and other fees because of someone else’s mistake when you review these statements closely.
5. Not contributing to a company-matched retirement account.
You can contribute a set amount towards your retirement fund each year and your company may match your contributions as an employee benefit.
Make sure you’re setting aside as much as possible from each paycheck to maximize those company-matching benefits. That’s extra money you have earned, but if you don’t actually contribute to your retirement plan, those employer funds will be going to waste.