10 money mistakes that cost you over $3500 a year!

10 money mistakes that cost you over $3500 a year!

Although most of us would like to think that we are super savvy when it comes to spending our hard-earned dollars, in reality, we all make little money mistakes on a day to day basis. Whether they occur through oversight, accident or just plain old ignorance, these small glitches can trip us up in a big way over time and lead to serious money wastage.

This month we give you the heads up on some of the most common money mistakes out there – plugging these pesky leaks can save you over $3500 per year!

  1. Being a procrasti-payer: wastes $180. We’re all guilty of putting off paying rent, bills or home loan repayments in order to keep that bank balance looking plump and healthy for as long as possible. But although this tactic might make you feel richer for longer, it also makes you more likely miss a payment. Weighing in at $15-70 a pop, late fees can mean seriously bad news for your bank account. Steer clear by automating your essential payments via online banking as soon as you get the bill.
  2. Buying things you can get for free: wastes $500. Don’t buy books; visit a library. Don’t buy CDs or drop two bucks on a song from iTunes; use Spotify. Don’t buy movies; rent them. Equally, why fork out big bucks for a gym membership when there is a whole lotta of world out there to exercise in? Footpaths make great treadmills, playground equipment can do wonders for your abs and YouTube is packed with yoga and Pilates how-tos.

  3. Paying interest on your credit card: wastes $600. There is absolutely no reason why you should be paying high interest on the outstanding balance on your credit card. If you are only making minimum repayments, battling to tread water and wondering why your total isn’t going anywhere, consider switching to a better card. On an outstanding balance of $3000, with your run of the mill credit card with a purchase rate of 20%, simply filling out a quick online application could save you $600 in interest repayments over the next 12 months. Yup, you read that right – it is really truly worth getting yourself a low or no interest balance transfer card.

  4. Staying plugged in: wastes $360. Most Australian families have a second fridge lurking around that is really only used when Great-Aunt Muriel and all the second, third and fourth cousins come to stay. In-between family gatherings, switch off the spare fridge – you can save around $30 per month, which works out to a whopping $360 per year. Also consider upgrading your older light-bulbs to newer, more energy efficient models. Not only do they last six times longer, they can also help you save a massive 80% on your electricity bill.

  1. Only buying new stuff: wastes $1000. If you think second-hand equals second-best, think again. The financial benefits that come from buying stuff that isn’t brand spanking new cannot be underestimated – and you don’t have to compromise on quality. Check out sites like Gumtree and EBay or read our Buy Nothing New Month blog series to see just how far this tip can take you.

  2. Losing track of your accounts: wastes $100. Take a good, long, hard serious look at your banking accounts. Is your high school saver still open and nursing the grand sum of 45 cents? Do you even use that platinum card anymore, or is it just another unnecessary plastic trinket taking up space in your already-crowded wallet? Take the time to clear up your accounts and cards – an unused bank account could be costing you $8 per month, which works out to $96 a year. Similarly, an unused platinum or rewards card is probably costing you over $100 a year just for the privilege of sitting in your wallet. Try the ASIC unclaimed money search tool to see if you have a unrecovered bank account funds or lost super – there’s $670 million waiting to be claimed!

  3. Being an easy customer: wastes $500. Who says that the advertised or quoted price for a product is the price that you should pay? Get into the habit of haggling your way to serious savings. Pretty much everything from home loans to vacuums is negotiable – check out some of our top haggling tips in order to fine-tune your technique.

  4. Being a slave to your car: wastes $100. The costs of running even a small car add up to over 100 bucks a week, so consider cutting down on your usage, or (ideally) cutting it out altogether. If you only use a car a couple of times per week, investigate car share programs like GoGet, and if you only use it to drive to and from work everyday, buddy up with workmates and carpool. Some insurers will even offer you cheaper car insurance if you don’t drive to work.

  1. Keeping savings in a bank account that pays no interest: wastes $250. Instead of wasting money in lost interest earnings, make your money work for you by popping it into a high-interest account. On a balance of $5000, a high interest account could be earning you 5% or $250 – it’s pretty much free money, guys! And with the wonders of modern internet banking, there is no excuse for letting your savings languish. Opening a new account and transferring funds takes just minutes. Click here to see who’s got the best rates.

  2. Not shopping around: wastes $300. Whether you’re refinancing your home loan, planning a holiday, buying a car or setting savings aside for the future, don’t just go with the first deal that presents itself. Shopping around might take a little more time, but it will almost inevitably save you money.

TOTAL MONEY WASTED: $3500

Do you have some suggestions of your own? Write a comment below.

10 money mistakes that cost you over $3500 a year! was last modified: June 29, 2015 by Georgia Kriz

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  1. Another major money waster is paying bank fees for getting your money out of a generic ATM. At $2.50 a time this can add up to hundreds of dollars depending on how many times per month you use an ATM that is not from your own Bank. I get my weekly spending money as cash out when I buy my groceries and there are no fees.

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