Over time, however, even the most budget-conscious consumers may find themselves spending more than necessary on certain expenses.
1. Bank charges
Cut waste: Change bank. According to Bankrate, nearly half of checking accounts have no monthly maintenance fees. The cost of monthly fees, if you are unable to avoid them with your current bank, likely exceeds the interest you receive on that account.
2. Sell items you don’t need
There’s no denying the thrill you get when you buy an item for less than its regular price. But spending money on something you don’t need just because it’s on sale can quickly lead to overspending.
Cut waste: The next time you’re tempted to buy something on sale, wait 24 hours before making the purchase. Often the initial excitement of getting a deal will wear off and you can walk away from the deal.
3. Subscriptions that you do not use
“These things are put on autopay, and people don’t even realize they’re paying for something they don’t even use,” adds Ramhold. “It’s an easy way to throw money out the window.”
Cut waste: Even if your credit cards are set up for automatic payment (which is a smart way to avoid late payment charges), review your statement carefully each month and waive any charges for items or services you don’t. not use.
4. Food waste
Reduce costs: Look in your refrigerator before going to the supermarket. Then plan your meals (and your shopping list) around the items you already have. This way, you’ll not only be sure to use those items before they go bad, but you’ll also be less likely to buy new groceries that go to waste.
5. Extended Warranties
While extended warranties on your car, appliances or other electronics can offset the cost of future repairs, they’re not always a good deal for consumers, according to Ramhold. Sometimes the cost of the plan will exceed the cost of any potential repairs, or it won’t cover the problem you have, Ramhold said. Additionally, many credit cards include extended warranties for certain purchases, so you may be paying for coverage you already have.
Cut waste: Rather than paying for an extended warranty, consider directing your extra money to an emergency account that you can use to cover the cost of repairs, should they arise. If you already have a fully funded emergency account, you may be able to skip this expense entirely.
6. Paying too much for insurance
Like most other services, the cost of home and auto insurance usually increases over time, but if you’ve been with the same provider for several years, you may want to shop around to see if you can find a better price.
“New customers get new customer offers,” said consumer savings specialist Andrea Woroch. “You may be able to find a policy that offers the same or better coverage for less.”
Cut waste: Check online sites like TheZebra.com or Policy Genius for insurance quotes. If you’re happy with your current coverage and provider, you may be able to use those quotes as ammunition in negotiations to get a better rate.
Other ways to lower your bill: Bundle home and auto insurance with the same provider or increase your deductible. By doing these two things, Woroch said she was recently able to reduce her insurance bill by $1,100 a year.
7. Credit card interest
Cut waste: If you are in debt, focus on paying off your current balance and put your cards on ice for now.
“If you’re having a problem with credit card debt, now’s probably a good time to put the card away and use the cash method instead, or use a debit card,” Ramhold advised.
A previous version of this story misstated the name of the insurance website TheZebra.com.