TEN WAYS YOU’RE BLOWING YOUR PAYCHECK
- PAYING TOO MUCH FOR HOUSING. One way to check out if you are spending too much for housing – which is most people’s biggest expense – is to make sure your not spending more than 30% of your income on housing.
- WASTING ENERGY. Utilities can eat up about 7% of the average U.S. household’s budget, reports Lifehacker, which offers productivity tips. You can lower that number by conducting an energy audit on your house to find energy leaks such as old windows or water heaters.
- SPENDING TOO MUCH ON CARS. Transportation is likely your next biggest expense. Buy a reliable and affordable used car, try to live close to where you work and consider taking public transportation to cut down on gas and maintenance costs.
- BUYING NAME BRANDS. Consumers find comfort in using brands they know and love, but often generic brands work just as well as their brand-name counterparts. Step away from brand names and try a few generics. For example, you can save money by buying store-brand medications and breakfast cereals.
- SHOPPING WITHOUT A LIST. Maintain a running list of what you need to pick up at the grocery store to avoid making unnecessary purchases. You’ll know exactly what needs to be replaced, and you won’t have to do any guess work.
- CARRYING CREDIT CARD DEBT. Credit card debt is one of the most expensive types of debt you can carry. Those minimum payments might seem low now, but they can cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars in interest. If you have credit card debt, make a debt-reduction plan. For example, try transferring your balance to a low-interest credit card, and commit to paying it off.
- PAYING FOR CABLE. Now is a great time to cut the cable cord. There are plenty of online streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, which cost a fraction of the standard cable service price. To save even more, share one of these accounts instead of getting an individual account for each streaming service.
- BUYING MOVIE THEATER POPCORN. Movie theaters don’t make the bulk of their profits from movie ticket sales. Concession sales are the real moneymakers, Yahoo Movies reports. Eat before you head to a show.
- NOT PLANNING MEALS. Keep your grocery budget under control by planning your meals and shopping accordingly. One of my favorite meal-planning apps comes from Food.com. It combines meal planning and money saving all in one app.
- BUYING COFFEE. America’s love affair with coffee shows no signs of slowing. A 2012 survey found that the average American worker spends $1,092 a year on coffee. Break this habit. Learn how to make your favorite coffee drink at home, and watch your savings soar.
Source: Morgan Quinn – GoBankingrates.com