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Category:  Money

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7 Ways you are Losing Money TODAY!

By Nikki Willhite
www.allthingsfrugal.com

Your money is a representation of your time. If you respect yourself, you should respect your money. To waste money is to waste your time. If you are married and you waste money, you devalue the work and time of your spouse.

There are many things we do, without even thinking about it that waste money. The following is a list of 7 ways we waste money every day. If you are trying to make your money go further, waste less, save more, or keep on budget, start here.

1. PAYING ONLY THE MINIMUM PAYMENT ON YOUR CREDIT CARDS

If you pay only the minimum amount on your credit card bills each month, you are losing money today that adds up to hundreds or thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. You are also extending the life of your loans a staggering amount of time.

The smaller the payment required from your credit card company, (usually 1-2 percent of the balance) the longer the loan will drag on.

The higher the interest rate, the less of each payment that is applied to the principal.

2. STOP THROWING MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN- LITERALLY.

A lot of people set a food budget for the week- and as long as they keep to that dollar limit at the store, think they are doing a good job budgeting for food, whether they eat it or not.

You need to remember that when you throw food away, you are throwing away money.

Would you ever throw even one dollar in the trash? Yet you probably throw much more than that away each week.

Use your leftovers, plan your meals, keep your food fresh, and only buy foods your family will eat.  

3. ORGANIZE YOUR POSSESSIONS.

Clutter propagates like bunnies. If you don't learn to organize your "stuff", it won't take long before you cannot locate items you need.

When you can't find something you need, you buy it. When you already have the item, you are wasting money.

Just look under your bathroom sink. Better yet, take everything out, and organize under the sink. Mostly likely you will find half a dozen products that you forgot you had. They may still be useable, or they may have gotten old.

Chances are you probably have a tidy sum of money sitting under your bathroom sink. Take the "bathroom sink challenge" and see how you are doing.

4. YOU ARE TOO BUSY TO PRICE CHECK.

Most of us "over-schedule" our lives. We feel lucky to get through the day with all the things that we need to do. We don't have the time, or even the energy, to look for ways to save money.

Coupons are not clipped, we don't make enough food from scratch, and other purchases are not given enough thought to as far as if we really need them, or could find a substitute and "make do."

There is no time to make the calls to check for better rates on our home, auto, cable or phone service.

It takes time to lower our AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) , and thereby our income tax, by doing things like setting up IRA's (traditional) or Medical Reimbursement Accounts, or keeping itemized lists of the items we donate to charity (now required by the IRS).

Scale down your lives. You can't do everything. Don't exhaust yourself mentally or physically. Make time for yourself, and leave time to manage your money,

5. YOU ARE NOT PROPERLY CARING FOR YOUR ELECTRONICS AND APPLIANCES

When was the last time you read the manuals that came with things like your refrigerator, dishwasher, and furnace?

If you have not changed the filters on refrigerators, furnaces, and air-conditioners, you are causing them to work harder and use more energy. You are also shortening their life, so you will be replacing them sooner. If you do not clean your vacuum and remove the hairs and strings that tighten around the beater brush, you will burn out the motor of your vacuum cleaner, and have to buy a new one.

Are there surge protectors on your electronics? In our area we have what is called "dirty power." That means at times we don't get enough current. We have to use surge protectors with batteries to hold power for when we get "brown outs." Take the time both protect and maintain your electronics and appliances, or plan on buying new ones sooner.

6. FAILING TO PLAN YOUR TIME Do you waste gas running your errands on different days?

If you live in an area with a lot of traffic, do you go out when you will spend less time idling in traffic?

Do you buy items seasonally, when they are on sale?

Do you carry sizes and color preferences with you for family and friends so that when you see a sale you don't have to return or miss out on true bargains?

Do you carry a price book?

Do you clean efficiently? How much are you spending on your cleaning products? Are you over-spending on items easily made inexpensively at home to clean your home?

Do you set aside time each day to learn tips and techniques to save money?

7. NOT USING YOUR RESOURCES WISELY

Have you made friends with your neighbors? They are a great resource for you. You can exchange babysitting, borrow tools, and often exchange things like hair cuts, sewing and piano lessons.

Neighbors often share skills when it comes to home repairs and improvement.

When things go wrong at home, they often come to the rescue.

Everyone benefits when neighbors know each other. If you haven't made friends with your neighbors, turn on your oven and make some cookies.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When we have financial problems, we can do one of two things. We need to either make more money, spend less money, or do a combination of the two.

If you want to spend less money, spend the time learning the skills that will help you save money. The Internet is full on valuable money-saving articles and information. Make good use it of, and your computer in the process.



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