Stop the dripping, plug up the holes . . . start saving
Is saving money tougher than ever for you? Does the cost of living today eat up most of your earnings? Do you feel like your money flows through your fingers as fast as you earn it? You probably wonder: “How will I ever get ahead?”
How can you get ahead with so many hands in your wallet? Almost every day, it seems, the U.S. Postal Service delivers another bill. Your email inbox is often full of invoices, too. Just when you think you can put a few bucks in the bank, another obligation comes due.
Each penny you earn seems to dribble away in another direction:
Payroll taxes Social Security deductions Property Tax Water bills Electricity House payment Driver’s license renewal Car payments License plates Parking fees Life insurance Health insurance Grocery bills Auto service Gas/gasoline
The list is long . . . without even counting credit card bills to pay off purchases like clothing, household items, travel, entertainment and other miscellaneous expenses. To stop some of the dripping, you can:
Look for errors. Like a Private Eye, inspect every credit card bill you receive. Hone in on any odd expenses. You may be charged for some items you didn’t buy. It pays to read every line item on every bill. Mistakes at the cash register are more common than most people think. Just a slip of the finger can ring up the same product twice, or accidentally add a digit, turning a $19.99 purchase into $199.99. Dishonest cashiers do other things on purpose.
Beware of criminals. Mistakes happen daily, but crime also accounts for lots of extras added to credit cards, too. Everyone knows someone bilked by clever criminals. Credit card numbers aren’t hard to duplicate and dupe. If you don’t protect your cards and scan every receipt carefully, you may pay for things like vacations you didn’t take.
Watch out for subtle online clicks. Many products sold online now feature monthly fees. Memberships, subscriptions, special services, etc., are the new way to keep customers on the hook. You can easily add extras, such as music, mobile phone apps or movie subscriptions. While you may love some of those extras, others you don’t need, don’t want or may not even realize you ordered. It’s easy to accidentally click while scrolling a site. That’s all it takes . . . and another monthly charge is added to your account. To make sure you didn’t order anything in error, scrutinize your bills and/or call all companies that invoice you to find out exactly what charges go on your bill each month. You may be surprised at some of them!
Revisit all insurance rates. Contact all carriers of your health, life, home, car, or disability insurances once a year to find out if you are paying more for coverage than you should. Changes in laws alone can lower insurance rates, as well as variations in policy longevity, family size, age, lifestyle; even lower prices from competitors.
Manage Your Money . . . financial facts for a brighter future provided by Advancd Asset Management LLC Follow our blog: aamllc.com Ronald Van Surksum, CFP 4555 Wilson Ave SW – Suite 2 Grandville, MI 49418
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