Today I have something a little different for you. Great advice about how to make the most of your money from Mrs Five Senses of Living who blogs over at fivesensesofliving.com.
She’s an adventurer who is living life through the five senses while staying money conscious. She provides tips and tricks about investing, budgeting, saving money while continuing to live life to the fullest.
I am so pleased Mrs Five Senses of Living reached out to me as she has covered some great money saving tips that those of you outside of the UK will hopefully find super helpful.
Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!
12 Things You Should Never Pay For
I know, I know the title of this post is a bit aggressive. You may be asking, Never? Come on. But I am going to say to you a firm Never, these are things you should never pay for.
Life costs money — a lot of money. With so many demands on your limited budget, the last thing you want to do is spend money where you don’t need to be spending it.
When people are trying to reach financial independence it is important that they take a bit of time and inventory the things that are important to them.
Take some time to figure out the things they actually need and eliminate the things they don’t. There are so many things that we can spend our money on. But, in the end, you still have to make your own budget work.
I thought long and hard how eliminating just one thing can pay dividends in the big picture. I thought about how eliminating many things could result in significant savings.
Saving money is a lot easier than most people think. It is totally possible to save hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars a year just by cutting the unneeded things out of your monthly budget.
People neglect to look at their habits when they’re trying to pay off debt and save money, and that’s the best place to start!
12 Things You Should Never Pay For
1. Brand Name Cleaning Supplies
Have you ever thought about how crazy it is that grocery stores have 1 whole aisle devoted to just cleaning products?
As you cruise down the aisle you will see neatly packaged products boasting “trusted”brand this “environmentally friendly”that “natural,”“fast acting”.
Companies spend millions of dollars on advertising to get their consumers to spend their hard earned money on things they don’t really need.
Why not check out the dollar store for cleaning supplies? There are many wonderful products that do the same thing as brand name products at a fraction of the cost.
If the dollar store isn’t your thing how about using good old vinegar? Vinegar has so many wonderful cleaning properties.
2. Credit Reports or Credit Scores
Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are able to obtain free credit reports every 12 months from the three main credit monitoring bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
To keep your pulse on your credit, to guarantee there isn’t anything unexpected happening behind the scenes it’s a good idea to request 1 report from each of these bureaus every 4 months.
This helps you monitor your credit more closely. This is especially important if there has been fraud on one of your accounts. You can request free copies from www.annualcreditreport.com.
When you receive your credit report I want you to know that you will not get an actual credit score. Your report is simply there to show you if you are delinquent on any payments or if you are racking up bad history that may be unbeknownst to you.
To get your free credit score you can begin by checking with your bank or credit card companies. My credit card company offers CreditWise which is a free credit monitoring and monthly update service.
If you aren’t able to find a free service through your bank or credit card credit, Credit Sesame offers free credit score reports.
3. Late Fees
There are so many fees we can get hit with these days. So often we just take it in the chin and move on. I’ve found that a quick call to the bank will often result in a refund. So don’t be afraid to call.
Not only can missing a payment cost you money but it can also hurt your credit score.
Get on top of your finances by setting up automatic payments. You’ll be saving yourself the possibility of forgetting a payment and incurring a late fee.
It’s also a good idea to spend five minutes and sign up for text or email alerts for your credit cards, student loans, and other monthly bills if this is available to you.
These alerts can remind you of payments that are due and also notify you of larger than normal transactions. Don’t let an unexpected withdrawal overdraw an account with insufficient funds.
4. ATM Fees
Speaking of fees avoid ATM fees at all costs. ATM fees are one of the biggest wastes of money. The average ATM fee is now $4.50. ATM fees can add up very quickly, especially while traveling.
Do your research and try to locate an ATM that is in your bank’s network to avoid being charged a fee. If you aren’t near one of your banks ATMs look for a grocery store.
Many large grocery stores offer no-fee cash back as a part of your purchase when you use a debit card at checkout.
5. Recurring Subscriptions
Maybe you are paying for a gym membership but haven’t stepped foot in the gym in months. What about your cable package? Some subscriptions renew automatically every year causing you unnecessary expenses.
If a service has stopped being useful to you make it a priority to cancel. You’ll start to see the difference in your checking account, allowing you to save more and develop better budgeting habits.
6. Extended Warranties
Extended warranties are enticing but more often than not you will pay for something you’ll never even use. If you are able to get an extended warranty thrown in free of charge. Good work!
Most credit cards offer an extra year warranty under their rewards programs when you charge the purchase to your card. It’s definitely worth a call to your credit card issuer to see if this holds true for you.
You can also check with your home insurance provider to see if large item purchases may be covered by your home insurance policy.
7. Rental Car Insurance
If you are new to the rental car world don’t get pressured into purchasing insurance protection that you don’t need. Instead, do a bit of digging into your current insurance benefits prior to smacking down the money.
Did you know that if you aren’t covered by your own car insurance policy it’s likely that you are covered by one of your credit cards? Many credit card programs offer rental car coverage as a perk to their customers.
In general, most credit cards will cover common issues like theft, auto accidents, and towing costs if the rental car breaks down.
To get this perk you often times need to charge the rental cost to that specific card but the coverage from the card may reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision.
You may also like: 5 Frugal Tips To Save Money On Long Car Journeys
8. Cable TV
There are so many technologies that exist that allow you to watch great TV shows and movies without having to pay for your overpriced cable bill.
Some great options are Netflix, Hulu, Sling, and Roku. Many people are able to get decent reception from the major networks with an antenna.
You may also like: 11 Things We Refuse To Give Up To Save Money
9. Bank Fees
Some banks charge a fee just to have an account. Don’t do it. Don’t pay banking fees! Banks are already making money (interest) off of you for holding your money at their institution.
The monthly maintenance fees are an automatic withdrawal that can run between $5-20 a month. There are often times free account options at the bank you are doing business with.
Ask very specific questions and don’t get pigeonholed into signing up for an account with fees or maintenance charges.
Maintenance fees are relatively easy to avoid. You can either:
- Use a bank that does not charge maintenance fees, or
- Qualify for a fee waiver so that the fees don’t get charged
Why would you pay hundreds of dollars to get a fancy breed dog when you can go to your local animal shelter and find a pet that is free and in need of a good home?
By picking a great dog from the shelter you are able to avoid expensive vet bills such as spay and neutering as well as their puppy shots because the shelter has already done these for you.
I know how the headlines on magazines can grab your attention as you are checking out of the grocery store. Don’t fall for it. Magazines off of the rack can cost anywhere from $3-$7.
If you are interested in a certain article visit your local library they always have the latest magazine subscriptions for free.
There are several free options that exist that allow you to listen to audiobooks without having to shell out the money. I downloaded the Overdrive app and then went down to my local library to set up a library account.
Once I had a library account I was able to link my Overdrive account and get my libraries audio books online for free.
If you enjoyed this post, why not pop over to fivesensesofliving.com and check out more of what Mrs Five Senses of Living has to offer?