There are some problems in life that have easy fixes. When your iPhone’s running low on battery, you plug it in. If you miss the premiere of Stranger Things season 2, you stay off the Internet to escape spoilers until you’re ready to binge it in full.
Then there are some problems that are a little harder to crack, like how to impeach a president or solve for ‘x’. Finding cash in a limited budget is another seemingly impossible challenge. If you don’t make a lot of obvious mistakes with your money, it can be hard to cut down on your spending.
But for every money misstep you know you’re making, there are several less obvious ones you aren’t even aware exist. You need to put your sleuthing cap on to root out the unusual ways you’re wasting your cash. Look at these weird wastes on your dollar to get started.
You procrastinate in housework
Very few people take pleasure in housework, but those that put off important chores aren’t just procrastinators. They’re unwitting spendthrifts. It’s not the dishes or sweeping that can end up costing you, but the lack of regular maintenance on your appliances and car, as well as normal upkeep around your home, can threaten your budget.
For example, while you may winterize the spigots leading to the outside of your home during the colder months, you may not finish raking by the time the snow settles. That pile of leaves may not seem like much at first, but it can disrupt the way the snow melts in the spring and cause water to hang around the foundation of your house. If it’s been awhile since you checked this part of your home, you could be unaware of a crack that may lead to a costly flood in your basement.
Your house, your appliances, and your car are just a few items that need regular care if you expect them to work efficiently without costly breakdowns. If an organized approach to your housework doesn’t come naturally to you, check out this guide for help. It reminds you of the things you need to do if you expect to avoid major repairs in your future.
Bundling your streaming services
You pulled the plug on cable years ago thanks to the online streaming options available. At first, it made financial sense to break it off with your cable company. Even accounting for the latest price hike, your Netflix subscription is much lower than your old TV package. For as low as $10.99 per month, you can binge-watch David Fincher’s Mindhunter or Brooklyn Nine-Nine to your heart’s content.
But it’s no longer just a subscription to Netflix. Now you have an account with Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Showtime, and HBO Now. Without even realizing it, you’ve created a streaming package. Though you pay individually for each stream, when each payment is tallied together, their combined cost rivals the price of your old cable.
If you’re fatigued of paying for content, it’s time to consider which subscription you need to cancel. These streaming services have a lot of overlapping content, so you won’t have to say goodbye to your favorite shows and movies just yet.
By not looking up the right loan
When you’re wasting your money in weird ways, you may not have a safety net of savings to help you through financial emergencies. If you can’t ask your family for help paying the bills, a payday loans direct lender is the next best thing. They can offer a practical cash loan that covers the gaps in your budget.
If you’re working against the clock to find a loan and pay your bills, the sense of urgency can force you to accept a loan you can’t afford. It’s easy to ignore unrealistic terms or fees when you’re desperate for the cash.
Though it may feel counterproductive to put the brakes on your search, approaching your problem slowly with a calm and collected demeanor can help you find assistance within your capabilities. When you give yourself the time to look through your options, you can find articles to explain online lending to you in simple terms, so you can get the right cash loan or line of credit that works for your financial capabilities.
Once you can find the product that works for you, rather than against you, you won’t have to worry about wasting money on unnecessary fees, late penalties, or interest.
Taking out cash at the ATM
Just because an ATM offers a convenient way to grab cash on the fly doesn’t mean you should use it. Most ATMs in the country add a surcharge of $4.57, which is a lot considering you’re paying it for the privilege of withdrawing your own money.
Make a point of visiting your bank once a week so you can withdraw the cash you’ll need and limit your use of the ATMs around town. You don’t need to cut out every single visit, but by making them an exception rather than a rule, you won’t have to pay a charge to use your own money.
The bottom line?
You can find a little extra money in even the most limited budgets. All it takes is some creativity to spot the unusual ways you’re spending your money. Stop using your precious gold coins in a way that ends up costing you more in the long run. Put an end to these weird yet expensive habits, so you can start saving in earnest.