There are some financial tips that are patently obvious, and then there are those that are staring you in the face, but you don’t see them. To help you cut costs and save a little bit extra, I’ve drawn up a list of things you could well be spending extra money unnecessarily on, and not even realising!
Shopping when you are hungry
We’ve all heard of the perils of shopping when hungry, but do we listen? Chances are, not always. Try not to shop when hungry, but also extend this to other areas of your eating habits, don’t buy expensive office lunches because you didn’t pack your own, and don’t end up ordering take away because you are tired and don’t want to cook. And if you’re going to be enjoying a bit of AFL Grand Final betting or any other sporting event, don’t buy snacks just for the hell of it, ensure they are healthy and filling too, otherwise you are wasting your money.
Buying brand names
From fancy clothing labels to beauty products to medication, don’t be swayed by the allure of brand names when a non-brand name will do the job just as well, if not better. Generally, you’ll be able to find house brand products at your local grocery store that are far cheaper, and your pharmacist will often happily sell you a generic of medication too. Often, you’re paying a lot more for fancy packaging or a name, when the product is actually the same as a no name brand.
Break those best before dates
The best before or expiration dates on food are there by law, but they are often not really that relevant. Don’t throw away food that says it is past its expiry date unless it’s gone off. Often pasta, lentils and other dry goods have best before labels on them and they are absolutely fine, but if you have any doubts about eggs, meat or other perishables, chuck them!
Using your credit card
Credit cards are great for an emergency, but that’s about all! The amount of interest you can rack up on a credit card can end up being even more than the original purchase, so rather keep your card on ice, and only use it if you have to. Then, pay it back as soon as possible to avoid accumulating interest.
Having more than 1 bank account
Bank charges are costs we barely think about, but if you have more that 1 account you’ll be paying a hefty whack just to ensure your money is safe. Rather consolidate your accounts and only have 1, this way you’ll only pay 1 set of fees.
Wait. What? Coupons are there to save you money? Yes. BUT only if you use them for things you actually buy. If you start buying things just because you have coupons for them, you are actually spending more. The same goes for buying things you don’t need just because they are on sale. Restrain yourself! A discount is only a discount if it’s on something you actually need.