11 Ways You're Wasting Money Without Realizing It
Money. It's hard enough to make, but it's easy to waste. Don't believe me? Here are 11 ways you're probably wasting your hard earned money right now – and you don't even realize it.
Once you know where your financial leaks are, it's easy to plug them. Which of these money wasting habits are costing you money?
Leaving Stuff Plugged In
TVs, computers and other devices all draw power, even when they're switched off. Granted, it's not a ton – but over the months and years, it can add up.
The solution is simple: unplug everything you're not going to use for a while. That's not only good for your bank account, it's also good for the environment.
Not Using Coupons
Not taking advantage of coupons is an easy way to waste money. Keep them close to your grocery list, so you don't forget to take them to the store.
And remember that there are coupons and discount codes for many things you can buy online. Check sites like retailmenot.ca before buying anything.
Overpaying for Computer Cables
Has this ever happened to you? You walk into a big consumer electronics retailer and snap up an incredible deal on a printer. The clerk tells you the printer cable isn't included, but they sell them... for $29.95. DO NOT BUY IT!
Instead head to a discount store and buy a similar cable for $1. Also skip extended warranties – they're generally not worth it.
Paying High Credit Card Interest
You already know that you shouldn't carry a balance on your credit card. But in the real world, that's often tough to avoid. If you're going to carry a balance, choose a credit card with a low interest rate.
If you already have a balance on a card with a high interest rate, get a line of credit and slide the balance over. You'll pay much less in interest.
If you can't do that, call up the bank and ask them to drop your credit card's interest rate. Why pay 19.9% when you don't have to?
Not Using a Credit Card
There are plenty of good reasons to have a credit card and they can even save you money – especially if you don't carry a balance.
Many credit cards come with all sorts of benefits: purchase insurance, travel insurance, car rental insurance (just this one benefit saves me hundreds a year), points to use for travel, etc.
If you're spending the money, you might as well get some extra benefits. If you don't take advantage, you're wasting money!
Have you got money you've forgotten about? Lot of Canadians have. The Bank of Canada is currently holding on to 1.4 million unclaimed bank accounts worth $532 million. Is some of that yours? Search your name on the Bank of Canada unclaimed balances website.
Keeping the Wrong Cell Phone Plan
When is the last time you checked to see if you're getting value from your cell phone plan? Are you using all the minutes/data in your plan? Are you constantly going over?
Don't pay for minutes you don't use or overage fees because your plan doesn't fit your usage.
Call your provider to see if there's a better plan. If you're a long-term customer, ask for a better rate or threaten to switch companies.
If you rarely use your phone, consider a pay-as-you-go plan where you only pay for the time/data you actually use.
Living in a Poorly Insulated House
If your house is poorly insulated, you're wasting money year-round.
Have an expert check and increase your insulation if necessary. You'll make the costs of the upgrade back and you'll save more in the long run.
Want to save on your air conditioning? We've got some tips for you here.
Driving a Poorly Maintained Car
There are all sorts of small things that can have a big impact on the costs of running a car: tire pressure, the air cleaner, the engine oil and more.
A properly maintained car is more efficient and saves you money.
Looking for more ways to save on your transportation costs? Check out our list of simple money-saving car maintenance tips.