By Wilma Bedford
You may think that you are saving optimally, but you may be surprised at a few unusual ways to control unnecessary expense.
Your savings account. Get to know about savings plans offered by financial institutions. It is unwise to keep large amounts of money in accounts that offer little interest. Also find out about the bank charges for every purchase and withdrawal transaction; plan such transactions to your advantage by, for instance, by making one-off withdrawals of large amounts of cash. Also be aware of the service charges if you use your credit card at an ATM with which your card is not coupled.
Credit cards. Calculate the administration charges and interest on late payments on your credit card. Use only one credit card and do not fall into the trap of using one card to service the other. Limit purchases on your credit card to large items without which you cannot do without or pay out of your salary all at once.
Subscription to online magazines, games or clubs that you don’t use optimally or have forgotten about. It may seem a small and affordable amount that is deducted from your account automatically once a month. Usually renewal takes place without prior notice and you have forgotten about the fine print. Decide whether the online magazine really offers any value and stop the subscription in time.
Expensive home. Buy or rent what you really can afford. Calculate how much time you spend there. Perhaps you only sleep there and the status you buy by living in that area could be an unnecessary expenditure.
Car. Buy what you can afford and keep transport costs and maintenance in mind when you buy. With your hire-purchase also comes finance charges. Calculate how much interest you will have to pay over the hire-purchase period.
Bars and coffee shops are expensive hangouts and can quickly make a dent in your expendable income. Limit the time you spend there and take your own coffee to work rather than using the coffee vending machine. Limit your soft-drink purchases and buy at the supermarket.
Takeaway meals are expensive, albeit convenient. Rather prepare your meals at home with your family members and where everyone can acquire a skill. Deliveries cost more and remember to add a tip. Limit takeaways to special occasions. Plan your meals ahead of time so that you don’t have to get takeaways.
TV and internet offers can be expensive as well as a long-term expense. Decide what you really need. TV programmes are also available on the internet the following day. Switch on the radio more often; it offers news, actuality and entertainment.
Take care of yourself. Neglecting oral hygiene, for instance, could cost you a lot in the end. The same applies to your physical health; prevention is better than a doctor’s account.
A bad bargain can be expensive, but this does not mean that you have to buy every other brand. Before you buy, look at the quality and at how long you will use the product for. You won’t benefit by buying a cheaper or unknown make of washing machine if it will not satisfy your family’s requirements.
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