money & Banking


6 surprising ways you are wasting money

6 surprising ways you are wasting money

You wouldn’t let a leaky bathroom tap keep dripping water, right?

So why would you let these money-wasting habits go on without plugging the leak?

Check out these 6 common expenses that may be costing you more money than you realise.

1. Using an old mobile phone plan

You may not have upgraded your phone in a few years because it works just fine, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a look at your phone plan to make sure that it still suits your needs.

Every time your contract ends, you should be shopping around for better deals.

Your phone plan should come with a certain amount of free data and call minutes, but if you keep busting your limit every month and paying extra, then it’s not the most cost-effective plan for you.

Speak to your service provider to check your average monthly usage and change to a plan that works for you.

For example, you may use more data than call minutes so look for a plan that provides more data.

With several companies vying for business, you should be able to find a plan that will suit your budget and your needs better. 

2. Using an old broadband plan

The same goes with broadband plans for your home surfing.

If you’re on an old contract, you could be paying more for a slower speed, so always check that you’ve got the best deal once your contract ends.

You can even approach your current provider to ask for better deals in order to retain you as a customer.

Some providers offer cheaper packages if you bundle your broadband and mobile phone services together so do some research to see if that works for you.

3. Paying credit card annual fees

Banks will often charge you annual fees if you want to keep using their credit cards but you can easily get this waived simply by calling in and requesting a fee waiver.

If the bank refuses to waive the fees, this might be a good opportunity to cancel the card and look for a new one with a different bank.

New credit cards often come with promotional gifts that you can enjoy such as rebates or free luggage.

Just remember to cancel this card too if the bank doesn’t waive the fees.

4. Paying for services you don't use

The biggest culprit is arguably the gym.

Many people sign up at the start of the year when their resolve to get healthy is at its strongest.

Then March comes along and all that resolve disappears, along with the fees that you’ve paid.

Do an audit of all the monthly membership fees you’re paying for and be honest to yourself about what you really need and what you’re not fully utilising.

For example, you may really use Spotify every day but you’re not home long enough to enjoy your cable TV services.

5. Buying food you don't eat

Roughly one-third of all the food produced in the world, or 1.3 billion tonnes, get lost or wasted annually.

We’re guilty of wasting food when we buy more than we consume, either by buying big portions that can’t finish, or going overboard with groceries that end up going bad and getting thrown away.

So, it’s a good habit to buy only what you need and then using up everything you’ve bought.

6. Buying a cup of expensive coffee daily

Sure, you need your caffeine in the morning just to function.

However, instead of forking over $5 daily at the latest hipster cafe, you might want to cut down to just two or three coffee runs a week, and make a cup in the office pantry the rest of the time.

That savings of just $10 a week can add up to over $500 a year!

Written by Siti Rohani. This article first appeared in Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.