Most weight loss experts will tell you that losing weight is a simple matter of using more calories than you take in. The same can be said for “losing” debt – you need to take in more money that you put out. But, just like sneaky hidden calories in our diets, hidden money-wasters are keeping you in debt despite your best efforts.
To help you shed that unsightly debt bulge in time for summer, here are the top four wastes of money that are keeping you in debt.
1. Bank Fees
Bank fees are insidious, and those little dribs and drabs can really add up. It’s $3.00 here because you can’t find an ATM location nearby, and it’s $1.00 there because you’re over your monthly transaction limit. Before you know it, the average Canadian has paid over $185 annually in bank fees. Review your statement every month and see if a different plan or a new habit can help you save on these pesky charges.
2. Annual Credit Card Fees
Many credit cards offer rewards like cash back or travel points for using your card for everyday purchases. If you actually use these rewards, they can be a lifesaver. However, they often come at a price! Sometimes, the annual fees for these cards can be as high as $300 per year. Before you sign up for a new card, make sure you’re not paying more in annual fees than you would pay for the reward.
3. Late Fees
Everybody forgets about a bill now and then, but if it’s a chronic problem, the fees for late bill payments could be taking a big bite out of your budget. Try setting up automatic payments for your bills if you have trouble remembering to pay them before the due date.
4. Office Lunches
Again, it’s not occasionally dining out that will get you into trouble. Lunch out of the house doesn’t seem like a big deal because there are good deals to be had in the afternoon. But even if your lunch is only $10 a day, that’s over $200 a month. Bringing your lunch from home only a couple of days a week can make a big difference to your household finances.
Once you have identified the slow leaks that are keeping you in debt, it’s easy to turn the tide. Would you like to develop a more concrete plan to get out of debt? If you’re in Kelowna or Kamloops, we can help! Contact us today to get started on a customized program to live debt-free.