Silly wastes of money
Bring your lunch to work. Skip the daily latte. You know how to cut costs on a daily basis, or during particularly money-crunched times. But there are so many other, sneakier ways that expenses can creep on you. Before you do anything, though, it’s time for an attitude adjustment around spending, says financial wellness advocate Amanda Clayman. “We tend to mistakenly think of money in terms of racing toward some future paradise, where all the sacrifice we’ve made will turn into this abundance that we’ll enjoy forever,” she says. “You want to have balance when it comes to saving, where you’re enjoying what feels good to you today but also being mindful of what’s meaningful to you in the future. That way, you’ll feel empowered and not in competition with your future self.”
We asked financial pros for silly, mindless ways we rack up money without realising it – and simple fixes that will make your wallet grow.
Not playing the interest rate game
If you haven’t shopped for a lower interest rate on your loan in the past 12 months, now’s the time, says Michael Foguth, founder of Foguth Financial Group. “Interest rates are at all-time lows, and odds are, you can get a lower, fixed-interest rate right now on your mortgage. I had clients, for example, who purchased a home last year and have already re-financed. They’re saving $100 a month now for the next 30 years. That’s $30,000 saved just with one phone call!” This goes for any loan you may have – car, mortgage, or even credit cards. Have debt? Now’s the time to consolidate it, suggests Foguth.
Forking over bank fees
Do you really need overdraft protection? Is your bank charging a monthly maintenance fee? “Remember: Your money should be working for you,” says debt-relief attorney Leslie Tayne, author of Life & Debt. “I’m amazed that people pay fees for bank accounts. Shop around and let them compete for your business, see if you can get a free checking account, for example. There are a ton of banks out there, don’t think you’re locked into one just because you’ve been a customer for a while, or, if you have been a customer for a while, ask for deals.”