While sure, a lowes build and grow might be a good thing to look out for saving money, but perhaps it’s a good time to look at your whole financial picture, from what you’re paying in monthly expenses, to where your spending money is going. If you’re not sure how much money is going out each month or don’t really pay attention to purchases, you can take a look at last month’s debit or credit card statement and actually go line by line to see which charges you are making. Whether a budget is a good idea for you, every dollar that you can free up can go towards building an emergency fund, paying off debt, and maxing out your retirement contributions for the year, something you will appreciate when you have the adequate funds when you are finally ready to retire.
Credit Card Interest
Credit card can provide financial protection against fraud, as using a debit card the charges would immediately be wiped out from your bank account, but if not used responsibly, they could send you in a debt freefall. If you are not able to pay the full statement balance by the due date, you will begin to be charged interest, which some cards are upwards of 16% APR, so that could add a significant amount to the monthly payment in order to rid yourself of the balance eventually. Just don’t pay the minimum payment, as you could be paying that for decades down the road until the balance is finally gone.
Whether you make purchases online or worse in-store, where sales staff continue to push extended warranties down your throat. While it may only be under a hundred dollars to add to your new TV purchase, but that is a waste of a hundred dollars. The smarter option would be to just make sure you have the money saved up in a few years to buy a new TV, when the technology would have already advanced to the point that you wouldn’t want to replace your existing TV anyways.
Booking the Wrong Travel
Between all of the celebrity commercials with travel sites or searching online for booking travel, it seems that every site is your own personal travel agent giving you the best deal, but that isn’t always the case. We forget that the direct airlines and hotels have websites too, offering the same, if not better than what the travel sites are offering. In addition, booking direct also gives you the peace of mind that if any trouble arises such as losing your reservation or needing to switch, they will help you instead of pushing you off to deal with the third-party booking agent.
Buying Instead of Leasing
Getting a used-car loan can make sense with the low sticker price, but the problem is, it’s an older car that will eventually have its share of problems, which hopefully it’s still running when it’s finally paid off, but by then you’ll want something new anyways. With buying a new car, forget about dividing the $40,000 sticker price over 5-7 years, the payments would be ridiculous. With low payments and the option to get a new car every two or three years, I’ll never leave leasing again, and you don’t have to deal with maintenance other than oil changes and tire rotations.
Throwing Away Food
The expression of our eyes is bigger than our stomach is around for a reason, and when we’re hungry, everything looks good that we want to buy or order, but it doesn’t always make sense, especially if you are trying a little portion control to drop a few pounds before summer. When going grocery shopping it’s a good idea to go with a shopping list of everything you need, not to mention not going on an empty stomach so you can more of a clear head. Same goes with going out to eat and not being absolutely starving will help avoiding wasting money on appetizers or desserts.
Going Out to Eat
Speaking of going out to eat, it’s nice to have some prepare your food, serve, and cleanup after you, but that sure does come with a price. If you can avoid going out to eat and really take the time to meal prep: from breakfast on the go, to packing your lunch for work, to eating dinner at home, you really will find hundreds of dollars add up each month, even more with a larger family not having to pay the expensive restaurant bills.