Joanna Schlansky's Blog
Once you’re a homeowner, you know that excellent finances are a necessity. You need to budget smartly and be aware of where your money is going. There are so many little things that drain our money that aren’t so obvious. Read on to see some places where your money is going right out the window and what you can do to control it.
Food Spending And Consumption
Not only do most people admit to overspending on food, they admit to wasting food as well. It’s a smart idea to have a weekly meal plan. Do you cherish pizza night? Write that into the plan. Set a week- or even a month of menus ahead of time depending on how motivated you’re feeling. Make sure you’ll have everything you need in the house to make these meals. Try not to stock up on too many items. The simple act of knowing what you’re eating can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over the course of a year.
Are bank fees and credit card late payment fees getting you down? All of those extra costs add up over time. Each time you overdraft your bank account costs you somewhere in the neighborhood of $25-$35. Every time you miss a credit card payment costs you another $25 or more. Make sure you’re enrolled in overdraft protection. You should also get alerts from your credit card as to when bills or due. If auto-pay is convenient, you can also consider that option to help you not miss payments.
Utilities can cost a significant amount of money, but these bills don’t have to be astronomical. Make sure you’re not wasting energy. Keep the thermostat either higher or lower depending on the season when you’re not home. A few degrees can make a big difference in your bill. Old appliances can also be energy suckers. When you leave the room, shut off televisions and lights to save even more on your utility costs.
Do you have a gym membership and never use it? That’s money going right out the window. If you subscribe to online services that you don’t frequently use, only keep the subscriptions that you need and use. You can save hundreds of dollars just by keeping track of where your money is going and if you use the products. Take a look at your credit card statements and notice any monthly charges that look unfamiliar.