The MHM Blog

10 Bad Habits that are Costing You Money

Posted November 5, 2018

Ever wondered where your money disappears to each month?  You work hard, you know you make it (if you have a part-time job) – yet it seems as though you never have any, or at least not as much as you think you should after you pay your bills.  In fact, it is estimated the average household wastes about 10-15 percent of their income each month.  So, if you want to reclaim that cash, take a look at some of the subtle ways you may mindlessly be blowing your budget.

Not Keeping Track of Your Change

When you go through a drive-through, and you get a handful of change consisting mainly of pennies, nickels, and dimes.  What do you usually do with them?  Toss them into the bottom of your purse to jangle until you need money for the parking meter?  Find yourself collecting loose change all over the house on cleaning days?  By picking a single designated spot for spare change and sticking with it, you could save up hundreds of dollars up by year’s end.

Letting Food Spoil

In the U.S wastes 1,249 calories per capita per day.  That is over 100 billion pound of food per year or, to put it in monetary terms, roughly 160 million dollars’ worth.  That’s money out of your pocket too!  Try to cut back on food waste in your home by only buying as much fresh produce as well as keeping a close eye on expiration dates.

Using ATMs That Aren’t Your Banks

If you use your local bank at home, it can be difficult to find your bank in different cities or states.  If you use ATMs that is not your bank, they may charge a fee for non-members.  When you’re in a hurry and/or your bank is out of the way, an extra couple of dollars doesn’t like much in the beginning.  But, over time, it really adds up – especially when the fee is $3 every ATM.

Racking Up Late Fees

Don’t be late with late fees.  If you total up the average amount you accrue in late fees over a 6-month period, you may be shocked.

Forgetting to Follow Up on Rebates

If you had a dollar for every time you forgot to mail in one of those mail-in rebates stapled to a receipt, you would’ve saved a lot of money.  Especially coupled with the actual rebate money you’re throwing away by not sending off for it.  It’s alarming how easy it is to forget, which means you probably don’t want to know how much money you’ve misled yourself out of over the years.

Buying Name Brands

While you should certainly find your favorite products through personal trial and error, chances are you could easily swap out a few name-brand products for the generic version and never notice a difference—with the exception of some extra moola in your bank account each month. Generally, the generic versions of name-brand products boast nearly identical ingredient lists.

Paying for Idle Memberships

Have you thought about the gym membership you haven’t used in months?  Or how about your Hulu account?  How often do you watch tv series or movies?  You could save yourself by $58/month by cutting all the monthly membership.

Drinking Bottled Water

Sure, investing in an at-home filter for your tap water will cost more upfront than buying a flat of Fiji bottled water. However, you’ll recoup that cost easily within a few months if you buy yourself a good reusable bottle to fill up at home. Plus, it’s way better for the environment.

Buying Fancy Coffee Beverages

According to a 2013 survey by Accounting Principals found that the average American spends over $21 per week on their coffee fix.  That means that cutting out your Starbucks runs could save you – more than $1,000 per year!

Not Inflating Your Tires Properly

Did you know that not keeping tires inflated to the optimal level can save money at the pump?  Keeping those tires pumped properly can improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent!

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