Someone’s probably told you not to sweat the small stuff, but the small stuff could be costing you a lot of money.
It’s not a new concept. Financial guru David Bach, the man behind New York Bestseller The Latte Factor, has been slinging this idea for years. According to his book, small day-to-day purchases like fancy lattes add up over time.
His math checks out, but there’s just one problem. In a time of social distancing and working from home, you’re probably not swinging by the local café for a $5 latte each morning.
While you may not be splurging on fancy treats in the spur of the moment, you might be making these small mistakes while running your financial household.
1. Borrowing without Comparison Shopping First
When money’s tight, borrowing money might be the only way you can take care of an urgent, unexpected repair. You can apply for a loan or charge it to your line of credit online.
These financial products act as safety nets for unavoidable emergencies when used correctly. But to make sure they’re the right solution to your financial problem, you need to shop around.
Comparing online direct lenders can help you hunt down the best possible rates and terms for your credit score.
This is a crucial step, even if you’re looking for quick payday loans. Direct payday loans are often the only option when you have rock-bottom credit, but comparison shopping may locate the payday loan direct lender offering the best rates available for your score.
2. Paying for Your Bank
Cash dribbles out of your bank account, even when you aren’t paying off installment loans or lines of credit. Many of the biggest banks take a bit of your money — some as much as $15 — as payment for holding your cash in their digital vaults.
You can expect even more when you withdraw cash from an ATM, overdraw your account, or dip below a minimum balance. All in, the average American winds up spending $290 in banking fees each year.
If you think there’s a better use of your money, it’s time to search for no-fee banking accounts. These banks won’t charge for keeping an account with them, and they usually don’t require a minimum balance.
3. Sticking with the Plan
What plan, you ask? All of them!
Whether it’s your insurance plan or a cellphone bill, there might be some wiggle room for what you pay on these monthly expenses. Learning the art of negotiation can help you cut through sales pitches and unnecessary charges to land a better plan.
If you’ve been with a company for a long time, leverage your history. Some companies are willing to discount their services to retain loyal customers.
4. Shopping without Benefits
As much as you want to save your cash, spending it is unavoidable. You have a household to run, which means you’ll eventually need groceries, toiletries, and other supplies. And since you’re already making these purchases, you might as well ensure they work to your advantage.
Use your credit cards carefully to earn benefits, like cashback and other bonuses. While shopping online, you can double up on these rewards by shopping with an app or browser extension to earn rebates or find coupons.
Sometimes, sweating the small stuff is worth it. Making subtle changes to the way you run your financial household might unearth a surprising amount of cash.