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You Mindlessly Waste Money Every Week: Here’s How

We all like to think that we spend our money wisely. But a quick look at many of our most intractable financial habits quickly reveals otherwise.

Do you waste money mindlessly? Here are some of the most common money-wasting culprits.

Money Waster #1: Magazines

Magazine publishers know that, on occasion, people pick up magazines from the store on a whim. Because of this, they often charge a high price for an individual sale, relying on these to provide them with the margin they need to stay in business.

If you’re somebody who picks up a magazine every couple of weeks or so, then consider choosing a subscription instead. Rather than paying high one-off fees, subscriptions almost always result in less money spent on each magazine. Often an annual subscription costs about half of the off-the-shelf price or less.

Money Waster #2: Expensive Mobile Deals

Mobile phone contracts are good business for mobile networks, but almost always bad news for consumers. Often people pay for services they don’t use or need, just because that’s how they were upsold when they initially took out the contract.

The good news, though, is that providers like SMARTY mobile powered by Three are changing the business model. It’s now possible to not only pay a low monthly fee but also get money back at the end of the month for data you don’t use. Most people could save hundreds every year.

Money Waster #3: Convenience Store Purchases

Convenience stores are, for want of a better word, convenient. But you pay for it. Prices can be anywhere from 10 to 100 per cent more expensive for basic groceries, dramatically increasing your bills.

Instead of going to the convenience store and paying $3 for a two-liter bottle of Coke, go to the superstore (or bulk-buy store) and get a six pack for under $10, netting you $8 in savings.

Money Waster #4: High Bank Fees

Where do you waste the most money on bank fees? The answer is probably all over the place. Bank fees can creep up on you in many situations.

One of the worst is probably overdraft fees, even if you have an arranged overdraft. Not only will the bank charge you a set monthly fee for using the facility, but it will also ask you for interest every month on the money that you have borrowed from them.

Another fee is ATM fees. If you use another bank’s ATM facilities, then you could be charged, up to 15 per cent.

It’s a good idea, therefore, to keep a substantial amount of cash somewhere safe at home, and then take what you need with you, rather than relying on ATMs while you’re out.

Money Waster #5:  Credit Card Fees

There are all sorts of good reasons to use credit cards: improved security, improvements in your credit rating, and various perks, like air miles. But there are also some significant costs to pay for all that, including high fees for not paying off your balance on time at the end of the month. If you use a credit card, avoid the costly ones for people with large incomes. They’re unnecessarily pricey.