Have you been trying to adopt better money habits but still keep falling short each month? You cut out unnecessary spending, started using a budget, found ways to increase your income, paid down some of your debts, and even have a small saving, but things still aren’t adding up. At the end of the month, you find that there are still small sums of cash that can’t be accounted for. What in the world are you doing wrong? Here is a look at some common small mistakes that really add up big time.
The ATM is a convenient means for getting your hands on cash in an instant. However, depending on your bank and account type, this modern convenience could add up. Some banks, for example, charge a fee every time you don’t use a machine within their network. These fees are only $1-$5 individually, but if you’ve stopped at the ATM 10 times in a month, you’re looking at $10-$50 down the drain.
Not Research Loan Products
When you need cash and you don’t have it yourself, you now have the convenience of being able to apply for a loan online and get the cash you need. Some consumers don’t do much research on where to apply for a cash loan. This is a huge no-no because not all loans are created equally. For instance, a payday loan and installment loan are very similar with eligibility requirements, however, a payday loan must be repaid within 14 days whereas an installment loan is broken down. Opting for a payday loan if you need more than 14 days to repay could cost you more money.
Paying Bills Late
Paying bills late is another personal finance mistake people make that seems small but really adds up big time. When you pay your bills late, you’re entitled to pay a late fee. Whether that fee is $5 or $30, that’s $60 to $360 by the end of the year. Not to mention, late payments means your credit history is impacted. Now, not only did you pay a late fee, but the next time you need to apply for a loan or financial product, you’ll have to pay more in interest because of the poor payment history.
Not Taking Advantage of Discounts
There is a way to reduce the cost of just about anything you could want or need. Whether it’s a free tire rotation, new haircut, or a night out on the town, there are coupons and deals you could take advantage of. The only problem is, a lot of people don’t. Allowing hundreds and thousands of dollars and affordable opportunities to go down the drain.
Most people don’t look at little expenses or financial mistakes individually. Having to pay $2 to get your funds from an ATM, paying an additional $60 to extend the wrong kind of short-term loan, having to pay a small percentage on a late payment, or even missing out on $0.50 on your favorite ice cream at the supermarket may not seem like much alone. However, if you were to add these incidents up over the course of a month or year, you might be surprised to find a large sum of money being wasted. To keep these small bad habits from ruining your budget big time, it is best to find alternative solutions like using coupons, comparison shopping, and searching for deals.