Some consumption tendencies and everyday habits can hurt your personal finance without you noticing. Here we tell you what you can do to prevent them.
Ever had a dripping tap at home? It’s a pretty common thing to fix. A tap that drips all the time is not hard to notice. But if it drips every now and again, the problem might be hard to spot right away or you might think it's not serious enough to fix. You might say the same about your spending: sometimes, it seems so negligible that you don’t think twice about it; but you’re losing money — and your finances will show it.
With a little bit of planning and discretion, you can cut out extra and unexpected expenses and small, recurring payments. By checking your household finances regularly, you can easily pinpoint avoidable low-key or extra costs. These costs commonly include:
Also known as “vampire power consumption”, needless energy use is one of the most common you might not notice. If you always leave your electronics and chargers plugged in, the little energy you’re consuming adds up to an extra expense on your energy bill. Vampire electronics waste energy — and money — without you realizing it. The same happens with half-closed or broken doors and windows that don’t sustain the temperature and cause you to spend more on heating and air conditioning. Running the tap while you lather your hands or brush your teeth, or driving a car somewhere you can easily reach by bike are some changeable habits that affect not only your finances but also the environment.
When you subscribe to a service, like Internet access, a mobile telephone or a gym membership, you usually want the full package, even if you don’t always use everything you pay for each month. The same happens when you subscribe to similar services, like more than one video and music streaming platform. Instead, make a list and compare your services and how much you use them to see which ones you can do without or get at a better rate to fit your needs.
A service that you subscribe to can get more expensive without you having factored it in to your monthly budget. As it is directly debited from your bank account, you don’t immediately realize how much extra money you’re being charged. Look at your bank card statements and account history to see how much you’re actually spending and do whatever you need to fix it. Marking service renewal dates in your calendar is a good idea so you can consider changing providers ahead of time.
Misusing a mobile phone, a computer or a car (or, really, anything you own) can reduce their useful life faster than usual. You can avoid sudden expenses to fix or replace them if you use them properly. Sudden expenses throw off both your monthly budget and ability to save. Write down when your car, heating system, air conditioning unit and other things are due for an inspection to plan ahead and avoid higher repair costs.
Sudden expenses that run up your bills are more common than you think. They can harm your financial health. You must be more aware and careful with your spending to prevent them.