Save an Extra $1,290 this Summer by Avoiding these 5 Overlooked Expenses
Change users often mention how helpful they find messages pointing out recurring payments, and their true, aggregated cost from a yearly perspective. These fees are easy to overlook since they typically only involve one entry point (initial signup and payment info), and then an easy-to-overlook line on a transaction sheet no one pays much attention to, to begin with.
While we aren’t delusional enough to claim that millennials are blowing their home-buying money on avocado toast, we’re all guilty of absent-mindedly depleting our reserves by committing to pay certain (usually small) sums on a regular basis, for who-knows how long. The result is less available money, a diminished ability to save, and a shortage of funds when they’re needed most.
There’s no better time to shake up habits and build up savings, than summer: Vacations and activities abound, leaving less spare income to begin with, and utility costs soar due to the rising temperatures (global warming is, sadly, no hoax). So turn on the fan, make yourself a refreshing smoothie, and take stock of which expenses you can curb starting… today!
There are many advantages to getting the occasional take-out lunch or dinner. It’s easy, fast and inexpensive, and there will hardly be any dishes to do. Yet, there’s a reason every single financial guide (and nutritional guide) recommends steering clear of grabbing meals on-the-go. When enjoyed just twice a week, take-out meals easily add up to over $150 a month!
Nix take out, and by fall, you’ll save an extra $450
Surely, giving up coffee is a form of cruel and unusual punishment…? Put down your ‘But first, coffee’ mug and let’s talk about this. Indulging in a daily latte, Chai or smoothie on weekdays is an unskippable pleasure for many, and we’re not in the business of taking away anyone’s harmless pleasures. Let us suggest, however, that most chain favorites can be replicated at home. When it comes to the rare drinks that can’t be made, consider this: Isn’t it best to enjoy those rarely, to truly appreciate them? And before you ask, yes, ‘unicorn’ drinks fit into this category, too — and your weekday morning habit is costing you $110 per month.
Ditch fancy coffee, and by fall, you’ll save an extra $330
Do you remember life before Instacart? TaskRabbit? GasNinjas? Wag? It’s hard to believe that, at one point before the concierge economy blew up, people took care of all their errands themselves. Nevertheless, seeing as that was the case for thousands of years, there’s no reason to believe that the current humans roaming the Earth are exceptionally busy or somehow incapable of tackling their to-do list on their own. It’s empowering to know that getting groceries, refueling, finding a parking spot and (gasp) walking our beloved dog are all tasks we can perform ourselves, and all it takes is a bit of planning and prioritization. Here’s a thought: If you master a particular errand, maybe you could start picking up extra cash by doing it for others?
Forgo errand apps, and by fall, you’ll save an extra $300
Another holy grail that hardly ever walks the plank of expenses, is the almighty content streaming service. And truly, nothing is better than unlimited access to original gems such as House of Cards (Netflix), The Mindy Project (Hulu), Big Little Lies (HBO) and The Man in the High Castle (Amazon). Actually, there is something that tops unlimited access, and that’s binging. By binging on the series you like in 1-month intervals, you can plan your content consumption so that you’re never paying for more than one streaming subscription at one time.
Juggle your subscriptions, and by fall, you’ll save an extra $120
They’re sneaky, those banks. They lure you with promises of waived fees and lean, flexible account management, but it turns out everything has either an expiration date or an exceptions clause. That’s why, time and again, you end up responsible for ATM fees, teller fees, deposit fees and everyone’s least favorite — overdraft fees. By arming yourself with tools that alert you to fees, and by learning which fees your bank slips under the radar, you’ll be better at avoiding them. Oh, and you just might save $30 a month.
Stop letting your bank get away with it, and by fall, you’ll save an extra $90
Wherever you choose to cut back, the takeaway is one we all must adopt sooner or later, richer or poorer: Expenses add up, whether you’re spending in small increments or all-at-once. The good news is, whatever overlooked expenses you leave behind, we have a feeling you won’t miss them nearly as much as you think you will.They say every 1,000 mile journey begins with one step. No tricks or secrets; only consistency. It turns out, if you tweak the old adage just a bit, you end up with an accurate description of how saving works: Every $1,000 nest egg begins with one less latte. In fact, that’s precisely how our brilliant Auto-Saving tool works: Detecting small, available sums in your account and transferring them to a special savings account.
Originally published at gochange.co on June 28, 2017.