We’ve all been around the Earth enough times to know that spending our paycheques at the casino isn’t the brightest long-term investment strategy. Just like how we know we shouldn’t respond to that Nigerian prince who promises millions. These kinds of money don’ts are obvious in the way they mean to do our finances harm. Unfortunately there are a lot more subtle mistakes that many of us don’t even realize we’re making. Wasting your money is one of the easiest things to do when you aren’t aware of the following financial mistakes.
Being a regular at Starbucks
Or Second Cup. Or even MacDonalds. Though it’s convenient (and not to mention fun) to swing by Starbucks for your latte, your daily caffeine fix is holding your wallet ransom. That $5 you spend on a venti Frappuccino adds up to create what David Bach, self-made millionaire and financial guru, calls the Latte Factor.
Your takeout habit can cost you over $1,000 a year. It might seem negligible but this small amount, when invested properly in the right account or portfolio, can help prepare for your future in ways no coffee can.
Having a gym membership & not using it
The average person goes to the gym less than 5 times a month. Depending on your contract, you could be wasting as much as $60 for the privilege of using the facility’s treadmills infrequently. That’s as much as $700 every year down the drain just because you made the same New Year’s Resolution as you always do.
Summer’s over, and with it is the need to have a beach bod. Though you’d love to boast the same abs as Ryan Reynolds, they won’t help you pay the bills—unless you become a model in your spare time. Rather than investing in head shots, just put that monthly $60 into a high-interest savings account and see your money grow.
Paying for cable
In the age of Netflix and Apple TV, there’s little reason to pay the country’s biggest cable companies for 100s of channels you never watch — especially when the basic package fails to offer channels like HBO, forcing you to pirate season 7 of Game of Thrones anyways.
In Canada, the average monthly bill is as high as $55. No wonder a record-number of people are breaking their contracts. Cut the cord and join millions of people who rely on Android boxes and streaming services like Netflix to get their fix. Even accounting for their membership costs, you’ll be saving.
Paying too much for a loan
Eventually, the tips mentioned above will help develop serious savings and rainy day funds, but it will take time to collect. Until your hard work at avoiding expensive temptations pays off, you may have to rely on personal loans to cover an unexpected bill that comes your way. In Canada payday loans are a practical financial tool that helps to bridge the gap in your paycheque—but only when you choose the right one for your capabilities.
Compared to their southern neighbours, Canadians are slightly more financial literate. As much as 57% of the nation understands basic numeracy and how compound interest works. Those in the minority—the 33% who don’t quite get these concepts —are at risk of securing a payday loan with an APR that’s outside of their means to repay.
Your financial literacy is no one’s responsibility but your own; however, you can find a direct lender that makes their lending process easier to understand, like GoDay. As a direct lender of payday loans, GoDay offers streamlined services in clear, easy-to-understand terms so you always know the full terms and conditions of their help.
Using ATMs too often
You’re out somewhere—a restaurant or a flea market—and you’re ready to settle your bill only to find out it’s a cash only establishment. In order to save time, you pull money from the nearest ATM and eat the service charge. Sound familiar?
Depending on the machine, you could spend anywhere between $1 and $6.90 for the privilege of taking out your money. These fees generate roughly $400 million for the nation’s banks each year.
As for you, how much it affects your personal finances depends on how often you rely on these machines. Just once or twice in emergencies is fine, but if you use them weekly for all of your cash withdrawals, you’re wasting money, plain and simple. Take the time to determine how much cash you go through on a typical week, and go to your bank’s branch to withdraw that amount.
The bottom line?
Keeping your cable just so you can watch the premier of the new Will and Grace or keeping your gym membership in the hopes you’ll magically have a superhero’s physique, may not be as obvious a mistake as gambling or involving yourself with a Nigerian prince, but they can waste your money just the same. Remove these habits from your life and start watching your savings grow.