Now, more than ever, households all over the world are thinking a little harder about money. Many of us have significantly less of it coming into the household than we did at the start of the year. And what little we have, we need to work harder for us than ever before. Yet, for the longest time, many of us simply haven’t been cognizant of all the ways in which we’re potentially wasting money.
Many of us don’t even use a household budget template to keep track of our income and expenses. But this is a crucial first step in taking control of your finances and liberating yourself from the stress and anxiety that they can create in us.
As such, let’s take a look at 5 ways in which many households are wasting more money than ever so that you don’t make the same mistakes. Don’t worry, in most cases you won’t even have to make changes to your lifestyle. It’s simply a matter of being more proactive.
They’re treating credit card debt like a force beyond their control
Credit card debt can quickly cripple your finances if you don’t take control of it. Keep moving your debts to lower interest cards, and always make sure you’re paying more than the minimum monthly amount to ensure that you save money on interest.
Keep looking out for new low interest deals on new cards. Yes, you may pay a small fee to move your debt but this will be minimal compared to the long term savings you can make.
They’re assuming that utility companies will reward their loyalty
Your electricity and natural gas providers, your telephone, broadband and cable providers. They all have something in common. None of them will reward you for your loyalty. In fact, they’re assuming that when your contract expires, you will let it roll over so that they can jack up their prices.
Don’t let them get away with it! Switch electricity provider and other utilities regularly. It’s the only way to be sure you’re always getting the best deals.
The same goes for car insurance
Car insurance companies are even more egregious in punishing customers who are loyal to them with significantly more expensive monthly costs to keep their policies rolling over. Be proactive and keep looking out for better, cheaper policies.
And don’t make the mistake of assuming that you have to stay with a bad deal. Many insurers will pay your old insurer to release you from your contract.
They’re losing track of their subscription services
There was a time when cutting the cable meant saving money. But in an age where we have so many streaming and subscription services trying to lure us in with their own unique content, we have become duped.
Now, in order to get access to the movies, music and TV shows we want, we’re throwing away a fortune every month in subscription services. Get more for your money by alternating the ones that you use every month. You’ll still always have something to keep you entertained.
They’ve fallen out of love with cooking
Finally, did you know that the average food spend in the US tops 10% of a household’s income? That’s unlikely to happen when households are cooking their own delicious recipes from scratch. We’ve become over-reliant on restaurant and take out food, and fallen out of love with the kitchen. You may be astonished how much you save by swearing off take out and restaurants for a month or two!