Don't tell me where your priorities are.

Show me where you spend your money and I'll tell you what they are.

-James W. Frick

Plan YOUR work! Work YOUR Plan!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

52 Week Money Challenge - Week 21 - Still Wasting Money?

So far we have started bringing our lunch to work, used the Latte Factor, cut back on travel expenses, taken a long hard look at our finances, negotiating your bills, found way to make money (or other things you need) by bartering, implemented a 30 day rule for purchases over a certain amount, and found 25 ways to have frugal fun this Spring. Hopefully, after looking at your finances you found some more places to cut back.

Are you still wasting money?

Here are five ways you’re wasting money without knowing it from Ask the Money Coach:


1. Paying for subscriptions you don’t really use.

How many magazine, newspaper, or digital subscriptions are you paying for but never really have the time to read or use? Take a closer look at your subscription expenses and consider whether they are really worth your money.
You may be able to find a lot of similar material online for free. Make sure you’re not wasting money on subscriptions that don’t offer any real value.

2.  Not paying down high-interest debt.

If you’re only making the minimum payments on high-interest credit cards, you are wasting money on interest payments month after month.
Take stock of your current credit card debt load and put together a plan to pay down that credit card debt as quickly as possible.
Failing to pay off consumer debt within a reasonable amount of time can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in annual interest payments and can also have a negative impact on your credit score.

3. Paying high banking fees.

When was the last time you shopped around for better rates on your savings accounts, or for better service offerings at your bank? If you are paying fees to maintain certain types of accounts at your current bank, you may be paying more than you need to – and wasting money as a result.
Shop competitor banks or credit unions for better rates and services, and consider making the switch to save some extra cash.

4. Ignoring credit card and bank statements.

Even if your account is inactive or you check your activity online now and then, it’s a good idea to review your credit card and bank statements each month for any errors or suspicious activity.
Catching mistakes early can help you save time and money in the event you need to report fraudulent activity or file a dispute.
You can also avoid paying late charges and other fees because of someone else’s mistake when you review these statements closely.

5. Not contributing to a company-matched retirement account.

You can contribute a set amount towards your retirement fund each year and your company may match your contributions as an employee benefit.
Make sure you’re setting aside as much as possible from each paycheck to maximize those company-matching benefits. That’s extra money you have earned, but if you don’t actually contribute to your retirement plan, those employer funds will be going to waste.

21 weeks in, these simple changes should start to become a habit. These are life changes not just to complete the 52 Week Money Challenge. The goal is to change the way you handle your finances and your life.

Challenge Total Week 21 = $231.00 

This is the 52 week money challenge that was shared with me last year. Hope this helps many of you this year.

Saving money is hard. It takes discipline and self-control to stick with the plan you developed.  This year why not make it easy on yourself?
I am a huge fan of ING (ING has been bought by Capital One and will become Capital One 360. Doesn't look like much will change...). ING lets you automate your savings so you don't have to think about it. The greatest feature is that it takes a couple days to get money transferred back to your checking account. There are a couple ways around this, but not being able to touch the money in your ING accounts is great for medium/long term savings goals.

If you have an ING, or other savings account, simply automate your savings transfers each month according to the chart below and watch the money stack up.
If you don't have a savings account, GET ONE! Not just for this challenge but everyone needs at least one savings account - with an Emergency Fund.

This week 21 should be transferred to your savings account. We are up to $231.00 this year. Things from this point on will start to grow pretty quickly. How are you doing? Any savings light bulbs going off? Have you planned what you are going to do with the money at the end of the year?

Even if you missed weeks 1 through 20, you can still get started today. Deposit $219 into a savings account and you will be caught up.

Keep Up the Good Work!

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