Eliminating Money Wasters Can Add Up To Big Savings

by Savvy Saver Girl on January 6, 2012

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With the New Year upon us it’s a good time to take a look at what we spend our money on and, more importantly, what we “waste” our money on. Money wasters are goods and services we purchase and don’t use, or fees we pay that are easily avoidable.

Some examples of potential money wasters:

- Unused gym membership
Each year millions of people set their New Year’s resolutions to get healthy and they join a gym and start working out in early January. Come March, many people have lost sight of their goals. They stop going to the gym but continue to pay the monthly fee or have paid for an annual membership upfront only to find out they can’t cancel it. Keep in mind that gym memberships are typically over $350 per year.

- Bank non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees
These fees are completely avoidable. A good rule of thumb to go by is “if you don’t have the money, don’t write the check.” The average NSF fee is $26 per item which adds up fast. Many people who start down this path end up with a snowball effect. After the first check bounces, more bounced checks follow and they end up paying hundreds of dollars in unnecessary fees each year.

- Speeding, parking and traffic tickets
These are easily avoided if you follow the rules. Again, these can add up fast and that’s money out of your pocket. A red light violation can be $370 or higher and photos don’t lie.

- TV packages (Cable, DirecTV, Dish)
Have you looked at your monthly bill lately? Are you paying for premium channels you don’t watch? Are you renting movies for several dollars when you can go to Redbox and rent for $1? Did your pricing go up in the new year? Give your provider a call. Don’t be afraid to tell DirecTV you are thinking of switching to Dish because you saw an add starting at $29.99 per month. I recently did this and they dropped my bill by $27 per month for a year (I do this every year – why pay more?).

The bottom line is there are many ways to save a buck so make it a New Year’s resolution to cut those money wasters and smile as you add up your savings.

~ Savvy Saver Girl

photo credits: dollar here, police here

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