Expenses to Eliminate or Reduce
If you have a budget, or are in the process of building one, then you know the importance of tracking your expenses. However, there are still some expenses that we tend to let slide due to various reasons or excuses – they are too small to bother with, they are infrequent, they are a hassle to cancel or change etc. Nevertheless, even saving a few dollars every month can add up over the long run. The following is a list of expenses that you should try to eliminate or reduce from your budget:
1. Late fees
If you constantly find yourself paying late fees for your bills, then automate them. If you are unable to automate any bill, then put a recurring reminder on your phone so that you do not miss them.
2. NSF fees
Your bank can charge Non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees when your payment bounces back due to not having enough money in your bank account. These can range from $30-$50. On top of that, the company whose payment came back as NSF may also charge their own NSF fees which you have to pay.
So, in total, a single NSF may cost you anywhere between $30-$100 extra. This is an expense which can be avoided by having a budget to make sure that your expenses are not exceeding your income. Most banks also have alert systems wherein you get notified when your balance dips below a certain level.
3. Overdraft fees
Banks offer the service of overdraft protection for a fee. In this case, the bank covers your payments even if your balance is negative. Overdraft fees are not cheap and similar to NSF fees is an avoidable expense.
4. Interest on credit cards
If you carry balance on your credit cards, try to pay off more than the minimum, otherwise you are just paying interest without making a significant dent on the principal. The longer you delay paying off your credit cards, the more interest you will end up paying. Ideally, if you are able to, then you should pay off your credit card balance at the end of each billing period so that you don’t have to pay interest.
5. Unused subscriptions, add-ons and extra services
It has happened to all of us. We sign up for a new product or service, and we are upsold add-ons and extras which would only cost a few dollars more. In such situations, we are unable to say “No” to the nice salesperson and end up with products or services that we never use.
Go through your bank and credit card statements regularly to find subscriptions that you are no longer using. Similarly, look through your product invoices and bills to check what you are actually paying for and see if you need the extras being thrown in. For e.g., you may be paying for unlimited internet but you hardly use more than 50 GB. In such cases, make sure to give your service representative a call to cancel or make the necessary changes.
6. Unwanted products
Follow our minimalist buying guide to avoid making impulse purchases which can eventually lead to unnecessary extra expenses. Take the time to return eligible items if they are not the right fit for you. Or, if they are past the return date, try re-selling them so that you can recoup some of the expenses.
7. Name brands and big companies
By now, we all know that generic and store brands are often as good as name brand products and are a lot cheaper. You do not have to switch completely to generic brands. Still even making the change to a few products can save you a lot overtime. In the same vein, you may be surprised to get better pricing deals with smaller service companies including phone, internet, insurance and even banks. Keep in mind though that smaller companies may have a smaller range of services, so do your research before making the switch.
Remember, your budget should include your necessities and should have room for fun, discretionary spending’s, along with money going towards savings and emergency fund. By removing some of the above expenses, you can re-direct those funds to other areas in your budget.
Finjoy Capital is not a financial advisory firm.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice.